Koroibete to make Rebels debut in Brisbane

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

High-profile code-switcher Marika Koroibete will play his first game in Melbourne Rebels colours at next year's Brisbane Tens.

The Rebels confirmed the 24-year-old's inclusion in their Tens squad on Tuesday, with the remainder of the 18-man team to be named next month.

Fans have already had a glimpse of Koroibete back in the 15-man game, after five years with NRL clubs the West Tigers and Melbourne Storm, after the flyer featured in a Wallaby XV clash with the French Barbarians in Bordeaux.

The winger looked dangerous with his rare touches of the ball in that game, but would be expected to make a bigger splash in the truncated format of the game in Brisbane.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan said Koroibete's skill set would fit right into the Tens. 

“Marika’s power, speed, and strength will suit the extra space available in the Tens format so we will provide him the opportunity in Brisbane to continue his re-introduction to Rugby in a competitive environment,”he said.

“The Spring Tour allowed Marika to transition to Rugby with the opportunity to learn and train aside the best players so we’re prepared to give him this unique opportunity ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.”

Koroibete said he was excited for the chance to suit up for the Rebels.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play for the Melbourne Rebels for the first time in a competitive tournament at the Brisbane Tens,” he said.

“The Spring Tour was a great opportunity to kick off my rugby journey but I’m excited to continue to develop my game, play with my new teammates and positively contribute to the Melbourne Rebels in 2017.”

The Rebels will take on the Chiefs and Japan heavyweights the Panasonic Wild Knights in their Brisbane pool, on February 11 and 12, 2017.

Melbourne will also play two trials in Queensland, with a Gold Coast match against the Force on February 6 and a February 14 match-up at Ballymore against the Reds.