Charles bolsters Rebels' hooker stocks

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels have added former Wallabies hooker Nathan Charles to their playing ranks, a timely midseason boost.

Charles joins from English club Bath, having starred for the Force en route to 86 Super Rugby caps and four caps for the Wallabies.

His arrival in Melbourne is particularly timely as Jordan Uelese is struggling with an arm complaint and Sama Malolo has been released so he can feature for the Junior Wallabies, who are in the midst of an Oceania U20s campaign.Charles was a star during his time at the Force. Photo: Getty ImagesHe will push Anaru Rangi for the starting hooker gig while Uelese recovers and Rebels general manager of rugby Nick Ryan said he was expecting big things from the 29-year-old.

"We are fortunate to add an experienced player like Nathan to our squad mid-season and we look forward to him adding depth and competition in our hooking ranks," Ryan said.

"We have identified our set piece work as an area of improvement.

"We see Nathan being a great acquisition in support of Anaru (Rangi), and in the absence of Jordan and Sama."

The Rebels host the Crusaders on Friday night at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and radio.