Wallabies and Rebels lock in promising prop

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Promising prop Jermaine Ainsley has re-signed with the Wallabies and Rebels until 2020.

Ainsley was committed to the Western Force for 2018, moving to the Rebels after the Perth franchise's Super Rugby axing.

The 22-year-old is considered to be one of the best young props in Australia and said he was committed to working towards a Test debut.

Ainsley said he had other potential options, but with most of his immediate family having moved to Melbourne, it was an easy decision to stay,

"Family is first, so that was my decision first and second environment is important for me, being in a place where you can be yourself, it brings the best rugby out of you," he said.

"I think being around the players we've got here, they're genuine people and I really get along with - there's not anyone I don't get along with.

"Being myself and being able to be myself in this environment is another thing which really helped me make the decision."

Ainsley was part of the Wallabies squad in 2017 and though injuries preventing him from earning a Test debut, he said he had taken plenty out of the experience.

“I have learned a lot from guys like Sekope (Kepu) and Allan (Alaalatoa) in the Wallabies squad but it’s also great to learn under players like Tetera (Faulkner) who was with me at the Force and now here at the Rebels."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is a fan of Ainsley's and said he was pleased to see him staying in Australia.

“There’s a lot to like about Jermaine and a stack of potential that he can discover. He’s part of our young crew adding to competition for places in the Wallaby team.

“I know he has a lot of ambition, he likes the battle and that is what I like about him. I’m really happy to see him re-sign at Melbourne for the coming years,” Cheika said.

The Rebels have also locked in young outside back Semisi Tupou until the end of 2020.

The Rebels take on the Crusaders on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.