Melbourne will play host to six Tests over the next eight years, in an new deal announced with the Victorian Government.
The deal includes commitments for Melbourne to host a Bledisloe Cup Test as well as a British and Irish Lions Test in 2025.
It’s an arrangement that the VRU described as ‘securing the code’s future’ and was believed to be a critical element in the criteria that helped push the Rebels’ case as a financially viable Super Rugby franchise.
The contribution is set to be driven into community rugby in the state.
Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said the news was it was a ‘significant day’ in the club’s history.
“It's a significant day in our history and we're very,very pleased with the government support and really sets rugby up in Victoria for many years to come.
“2018 and beyond is what we're all about and we're extremely excited about the direction we're going, who's on the team and we know we've got great support and there's so much potential here in Victorian rugby to succeed.
“We have to engage at all levels of the community, we're a team owned by the community and we want to represent the community and do them proud.”