The Melbourne Rebels have bolstered their depth, re-signing versatile back Nick Jooste on a one-year deal.
Jooste made his debut for the Western Force in 2019, featuring in five games before moving to Japan.
The 25-year-old returned to Melbourne at the start of the season, making his Rebels’ debut in their round 3 clash against the Drua in Queensland.
He would go on to make six further appearances, including playing a starring role in their upset victory over the Highlanders in the final round of the season.
After ending the year on a high, Jooste was eager to build on it as the Rebels push for a finals berth in 2023.
“The driving factor behind me re-signing was the connection of our playing group,” said Jooste in a statement.
“I really had a great time this year with a young playing squad that you could see at the backend of the year, really begin to find its feet.
“I also really enjoyed working under Kevin Foote, who I’ve known for a very long time. He’s someone I really respect and that I’m hungry to work for.
“As I approach this pre-season, I just want to turn up every day and put my best foot forward and I think that’s going to go a long way to winning a jersey early in the season and putting myself in the best position to grow as a player.”
Rebels GM of Rugby Nick Stiles was equally as pleased, praising his character and development.
“Nick is a talented player with a tremendous worth ethic and a hunger to grow, so we’re really happy to have him locked in for next season,” Stiles added.
“He’s a consummate professional who, with his size, speed and kicking abilities, is a valuable member of our squad.
“On top of that, Nick is a selfless, team-first, guy who’s a popular member of the playing group and someone that’s excited to continue being part of the culture we’re building here at the Rebels.”