Rebels sign U20s hooker Jordan Uelese

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Rebels have added yet another junior star to their 2017 roster, signing U20s hooker Jordan Uelese.

Uelese is the third local addition to the Rebels squad in recent years, joining Rob Leota and Sione Tuipulotu at the Super Rugby club, the highest number the club has ever had.

The hooker said Leota and Tuipulotu’s progression into the Rebels side had really laid down the foundation for other local talents.

“Rob and Sione gave me a genuine insight and drive to become a professional footballer,” Uelese said.

“They’ve set the standard and showed all the Victorians that it is possible to be a professional player in your home town.

“The Melbourne Rebels have definitely shown that belief in us.”


The 19-year-old’s switch from loose forward into the front row has accelerated his development, with the rising star reaping the rewards this season.

As well as playing in the Rebels U20s grand final side this season, Uelese started every game for Australia in the U20s World Cup in England.

The news, he said, was a dream come true.

“It’s a childhood dream come true to sign my first professional contract and even better to get it in my hometown of Melbourne,” Uelese said.

"I am very grateful to the Rebels for the opportunity and especially my parents Tita and Sekaki Uelese for all they have done to get me this far, without them none of this would be possible.

“I think back in the days you had to move around but it’s awesome to be in Melbourne and shows there’s a genuine pathway to being a professional footy player.”

Rebels general manager Baden Stephenson said adding more local talent was a focus for the club.

“Developing and providing opportunity for home grown talent remains a strategic priority for the Melbourne Rebels so we’re pleased the hard work by many people in Victorian Rugby is being recognised,” he said.

Uelese will play for the Melbourne Rising in the upcoming NRC, before working towards a Rebels debut.

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