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The RaboDirect Rebels are pleased to announce Foundation Captain Stirling Mortlock AM has accepted the role of Melbourne Rebels Director.
Recently appointed Rebels Chairman Jonathan Ling is delighted Mortlock will be joining him on the Board.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce that Stirling has accepted our offer to assume this crucial role," Ling said. "Stirling was the foundation Melbourne Rebels Captain, and has elected to remain in Melbourne and pursue a finance career within the banking sector here since his retirement as a player. Stirling has also chosen to remain actively involved in the growth and promotion of Rugby in Victoria.
"Stirling's unique understanding of the game, partnered with his business acumen, makes him a key asset for the Rebels organisation and the game of Rugby Union here in Victoria."
Following foundation shareholders transferring their shares to the Victorian Rugby Union in June this year, the Melbourne Rebels are no longer a privately owned company, with Ling replacing Harold Mitchell AC as Chair.
From the 2014 Super Rugby season onwards, the Rebels and the Victorian Rugby Union will be integrated as one, with the game of Rugby being promoted throughout Victoria under the one brand, the Melbourne Rebels.
With 80 Wallaby Test caps, including 29 as the Captain, Stirling's knowledge of the game is unprecedented amongst his peers, having recently excelled as a commentator for Wallaby matches on Channel 10 in 2013.
Stirling's standing within the Australian sporting community was formally recognised in 2012 when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List, and he has long expressed his desire to continue to grow the game in Victoria.
Mortlock is looking forward to settling into his new role, and believes that the change of ownership at the Rebels will prove to be hugely beneficial.
"It is an exciting time for the Melbourne Rebels and its members," Mortlock said. "With the Melbourne Rebels now being truly owned by the Victorian Rugby Union community, it provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to benefit from mutual goals and ambition.
"With both the on and off field teams under new leadership, and a young playing roster, we are on the cusp of building a Rugby program that is the envy of every club, provincial, and national team here in Melbourne.
"We can now collectively work as one, in union."
Mortlock joined the Melbourne Rebels' Board effective immediately.
The RaboDirect Rebels have signed loosehead prop Jed Gillespie to their Extended Playing Squad (EPS) for the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season.
Qantas Wallaby and three time Super Rugby Champion Radike Samo will join the RaboDirect Rebels for the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season.