Melbourne Rebels sign highly-touted prospects

Tue, 24/08/2021, 09:01 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Plucky Melbourne have spoiled the Crusaders' Super Rugby Trans-Tasman party despite going down 52-26 in their final round clash at Leichhardt Oval.

The Rebels have continued to build their exciting list with exciting Queensland prospects and Zac Hough signing on for the 2022 Super Rugby season.

Ripley was named in the Junior Wallabies squad in 2021, with the centre excelling during his time at Brisbane Boys College.

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The 19-year-old has since plied his time with Uni of Queensland and Souths, admitting the culture of the Rebels sold him on the move south.

“I’m really excited to be joining such a fantastic club as the Melbourne Rebels, and meet my new teammates and rip in,” said Ripley in a statement. “What really stood out to me was how welcoming and supportive the club was, and just how family orientated the staff were who spoke to me – I can’t wait to get started."

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He is joined by back-rower Zac Hough, who was named in the Reds U18 squad and is considered one of the best prospects in the country.

The flanker will link up with former school teammates Ripley and Carter Gordon at the Rebels, eager to take the next step in his development.

“I’m ecstatic to be joining the Rebels and grateful for this wonderful opportunity to showcase the person and player I am," Hough said.

“One of the key drivers for joining the club was the opportunity to come down and train with such an elite program, in a lush city like Melbourne.

“There’s a few familiar faces at the Rebels that I’ve already played with or against, so that’s going to be great for our team cohesion and I can’t wait to get started.”

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“It’s awesome to have two highly sought-after, talented young players like Lukas and Zac commit to the Rebels and want to be part of the connected culture we’re building in Melbourne," Melbourne Rebels’ GM of Rugby, Nick Stiles added. “Zac is an excellent backrower with a vast array of skills and in-game awareness, while Lukas possesses an outstanding work rate with a strong touch pass ability, which we were targeting at the centre position. “We’re really pleased with the balance we’ve developed with our core squad, so to add to the calibre of this talent underneath, ready to come through over the next two to three years, it’s going to put us in a great position to create sustainable, long-term success for the Rebels and for Victorian rugby.”

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