Australia U20s prop Tyrel Lomax will move to Melbourne in 2017, after signing a two-year deal with the Rebels.
Son of former Canberra Raiders star John, Lomax has found his place in the 15-man code, playing two seasons of U20s at a national level before being picked up by a Super Rugby franchise.
This signing follows the rebels' acquisition of schoolboys pivot Jack McGregor and U20s fullback Jack Maddocks, who was named on the bench for the side against the Reds last weekend.
The Rebels squad already includes a handful of his U20s teammates as well, with Victorian duo Sione Tuipulotu and Rob Leota in the team, as well as hooker Jordan Uelese and backrower Harley Fox.
Lomax said talking to his teammates already at the Rebels had helped him make the decision to head down to Victoria.
“The Rebels are an exciting team that are bringing a lot of young players through Super Rugby and, like me, who have committed long term to the culture the Rebels are seeking to create," he said.
“I had a good chat with team mates while I was on (Australian U20’s) tour and they said it was a great program and how much it has done for their development. I’m looking forward to relocating to Melbourne and consider this as a long term commitment to the Rebels.”
Rebels coach Tony McGahan said Lomax caught his eye in the recent World U20s Championships in Manchester.
"Tyrel demonstrated during the recent World Rugby U20’s Championship that he’s a strong scrummager and has well developed core skills for his size,”he said.
“We’re looking forward to fast tracking his development and providing opportunities for him to transition into Super Rugby next season.”
Lomax will play for the Melbourne Rising in next month's NRC before vying for a Super Rugby debut.