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Melbourne Rebels sign Tamati Ellison

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The RaboDirect Rebels have bolstered their 2014 squad, with the signing of Highlanders centre Tamati Ellison on a one year deal.

The 30 year old All Black will join the Rebels for the 2014 pre-season, following the completion of Ricoh Black Rams' Top League season in Japan.

Rebels Head Coach, Tony McGahan, said both Tamati's versatility and experience would be valuable assets to the Club.

"Tamati has the ability to play at a high level across a number of positions in the backline, which makes him a very important part of a Super XV squad in such a fast and demanding competition.

"He is a player who likes to express himself on the rugby field, and with this he will fit into the type of rugby we aim to play next season."

Ellison was a member the of Sevens team that won gold in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and has since played in New Zealand's NPC, Super Rugby, Top League and Test rugby.

"His experience from all levels of New Zealand Rugby, combined with his overseas playing time will enable him to contribute to our Rugby program across many levels, both on and off the field," said McGahan.

Ellison captained the Junior All Blacks to victory in the 2009 Pacific Nations Cup, and went on to make his first Test appearance in the All Blacks' 2009 tour to Europe later that year.

Born in Wellington, Ellison made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2005, and has gone on to represent both the Hurricanes and the Highlanders, with a total of 77 caps to his name.

Speaking from Japan, Ellison said "My family and I are really excited about moving to Melbourne and the new opportunities that lay ahead.

"The Rebels are building a very competitive team, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that."


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