The Rebels have bolstered their forward pack with a trio of signings this week, headlined by former Waratah Michael Wells.
Wells had a strong year for the Waratahs playing at no. 8, named the team's best forward, but
The 26-year-old split his season between Sevens and XVs in 2019 but will be playing only XVs in 2020 in Melbourne.
“I feel as though I'm better suited to the game of XV's and for the purposes of longevity and overall performance, I felt XVs was the right choice,” he said.
“The Rebels as a province are an exciting fit for myself.
“The team has been on the cusp of making its first finals in franchise history for the past couple of years and I want to be a genuine contributor in being able to help the team achieve that feat and more."
Wells has played with a host of Melbourne's current squad before and said he was looking forward to being in a new environment.
"“I've played with a few of the guys at the Rebels in the past, including Brad Wilkin, Reece Hodge, Matt Phillip, Boyd Killingworth and Bill Meakes back at Norths, so it's nice to have some familiar faces there and hopefully that makes the transition into the group a bit smoother for myself.
“The prospect of living in Melbourne is obviously a nice draw card, but the aspect that excites me the most about making the move to Melbourne is contributing to a great culture and team environment that is focused on high performance.”
Wells is the third of three signings announced by Melbourne in the past two days, with props Cameron Orr and Ruan Smith announced as additions on Wednesday.
Smith has been playing for the Reds, one of the stronger packs in Super Rugby, and will beef up the Rebels pack.
"It’s the club where plenty of players have been given opportunities and that has clearly created a strong culture, that I want to be part of," he said.
“I know playing finals is what all teams want to achieve and I feel the Rebels are on the right path to achieving their expectations and goals.
“The Melbourne Rebels put an emphasis on having a successful culture driven by coaches and players as well.
“I know it will be the perfect environment for me to perform my best with lots of competition in my position.
“I have had a for bit to do with Dave in the past and I know the calibre of coach he is and I’m extremely excited to learn from him and the rest of the coaching staff."
A former Australian schoolboy and U20s player, Orr has been playing in England in recent seasons with Gloucester, before joining the Western Force.
This deal is his first in Super Rugby after that globe-trotting start to his career.
"It’s great to get my first crack at Super Rugby after having had a taste of professional rugby in the UK,” he said.
“The Rebels have been making giant strides in the last two seasons and it’s exciting to be a part of that journey.
“I’m really looking forward to mixing it with the Melbourne guys and testing myself in a pack with so many Wallabies