Coleman signs with Rebels

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Adam Coleman is officially heading to Melbourne, ending months of speculation around his future.

Coleman, who has become one of Australia's most valuable Test players in just 18 months of international rugby, was initially widely tipped to join the Rebels after the axing of the Force, joining a host of his Perth teammates at the club.

Things took a twist, though, when big money overseas offers began to come his way, amid rumours that former Force, and now Rebels, coach Dave Wessels was contemplating a move abroad.

Coleman has just 20 Tests, meaning a move overseas would have cost him his Wallabies jersey, just as he is coming into the prime of his career.

Adam Coleman scored for Australia. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia's second row stocks look healthy with Coleman at the head of a long line of locks as the Wallabies' 2019 Rugby World Cup preparations heat up.

The 26-year-old is the 11th former Force player to sign with the Rebels for 2018, following Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty, Jermaine Ainsley, Tetera Faulkner, Ben Daley, Jono Lance, Matt Philip, Billy Meakes, Anaru Rangi and Richard Hardwick in announcing a move to Melbourne.

Coleman said Wessels' move played a role in his decision, but ultimately Australia felt like the right place for him to play his rugby.

"I’m excited to get down to Melbourne and join up with the boys. They have made some great signings, that have nicely added to the talented guys that are already there," he said.

"There's a nice balance of experience and some great young players, so we'll be aiming to give Super Rugby a good shake next year.

"Obviously Dave (Wessels) was a big factor, but I definitely wanted to stay in Australian Rugby. I love playing in the gold jersey for the Wallabies and I think we're building something special for the 2019 Rugby World Cup," Coleman said.

Coleman returned to Australia last week, after a thumb injury ended his Spring Tour, but he is expected to be fit for Super Rugby next season.

Curtis Rona and Ben McCalman remain the only two Western Force players in the current Wallabies squad yet to confirm their 2018 future.