Rebels and Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese says the Melbourne franchise should have its sights set on Super Rugby success in 2018.
Uelese, who re-signed with the club and Australian rugby until 2020 this week, is one of the faces of a new era at the club, in a contracted Australian Super Rugby contingent.
The Rebels have signed a host of additions for 2018, many of them players from the axed Western Force franchise, while locking in youngsters like Uelese for the long-term.
Despite enjoying just one win in 2017, there will be high expectations for the Rebels in 2018 with their superstar roster, that still looks like having more additions.Melbourne’s best seasons were seven-win season in 2015 and 2016, before their worst year on record last season.
They have never made the finals, but that almost looms as a pass mark for this new-look club.
It’s not just the public that will be setting the bar high, Uelese said in Scotland on Tuesday.
“Last year was a bit of a rocky road in terms of results and injuries but I've spoken to (new Rebels coach) Dave Wessels a couple of times, he's an awesome coach and I'm very excited to work under him and just the amount of players we've got,” he said.
“I think the boys are very excited to get in and work hard.
“We've got no excuses this time, it's time to make the people of Melbourne proud and hopefully go better this year.
“We're not going for second or third, I think we're going to win this year so very exciting times for the Rebels and the new setup we've got.”
The Rebels have announced a long list of signings in recent weeks, including Wallabies back Dane Haylett-Petty and squad centre Billy Meakes, the pair among 15 new faces in the Rebels side so far for 2018.
The Wallabies take on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.