Hundreds of Melbourne Rebels fans have taken the chance to meet new coach Dave Wessels and revel in news of cheaper ticket prices, as the club announced a new strategic plan on Tuesday.
The inaugural members forum, which was held at Hawthorn Arts Centre, gave fans the chance to mingle with Wessels, who will take charge of a potent playing roster in 2018.
It also marked the start of a new journey for the club, strategically, which has been led with the catch cry 'Never Back Down'.
"We are only temporary custodians for the next generation of Rebels and we have a duty to leave the club in a better place than we found it," Melbourne Rebels General Manager Professional Rugby & Pathways Nick Ryan said.
"The strategic plan has been established to ensure that the Melbourne Rebels set the benchmark for Australian rugby on and off the field, and ensure positive engagement with local schools and clubs to reinforce local player pathways.
"We believe that a united and aligned club will give us the stability and security to perform at our best, foster behaviours that is the envy of others and prove to be our most significant competitive advantage."
The plan, which has the lead goal of becoming the Super Rugby club of choice for all Australian players, was underlined by four pillars - rugby operations, financial management, connect and influence and facilities and infrastructure.It includes an expanded partnership with La Trobe University, new memorandums of understanding with schools to set better pathways for Victorian juniors, an annual camp for staff members, VRU and commercial teams to join the rugby program and be inducted into the history of the club, as well as standardised talent ID across all levels of the Victorian pathway.
Victorian rugby fans will also be given greater access to home games at AAMI Park, with low level memberships and general admission ticket costs slashed by 40 percent.
The club has also announced the hire of new GM Commercial Tim Cherry, who has worked with the Essendon Bombers and the Australian Grand Prix over the past seven years.