Cameron Larkin .com

Rebels set for a big 2012 with star signings

The Melbourne Rebels finished 15th in the 2011 inaugural season – a year which consisited of three wins. In 2012 that is sure to be different with key signings of a few Wallabies and young guns Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor and Mitch Inman.

Mitch Inman

Powerful outside back, Mitch Inman, joins the RaboDirect Rebels in 2012. At over 190cm and 100kg the former Western Force star adds a powerful presence to the exciting Rebels back division. His strength and penetration were evident as he made a strong showing on the club’s Development Tour of the UK and Ireland.

A former Australian under-19s representative, 23-year-old Mitch is well known to the Rebels coaching staff and a number of squad members through his time with Sydney University in the NSW Shute Shield competition. After excelling at that level under the tutelage of Damien Hill, he joined the Force for their 2010 campaign, featuring in every round of his debut season.

An elbow injury curtailed a large portion of Mitch’s 2011 season but his performances for the Force, alongside fellow Rebels recruit, James O’Connor, have him hotly tipped for future international honours.

Before joining the Force, Mitch was involved with the Waratahs, participating in trial fixtures for the light blues and travelling on a development tour to FIji. He is also a former Australian sevens representative.

James O’Connor

By signing James O’Connor for the 2012 Super Rugby season, the RaboDirect Rebels have secured one of the most promising young talents in Rugby Union.

At just 21 years of age, James already has plenty of weapons in his arsenal. His blistering pace causes havoc when he lines up on the Wing or at Fullback. His tactical awareness allows him to marshal his troops with confidence from Flyhalf. His strength and combative defensive technique make him a powerful Centre, at 12 or 13. He is also the owner of one of Australia’s most potent boots, and is regularly the starting goal-kicker for the Wallabies.

Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale is one of the most exciting talents in international Rugby Union. His dynamism from Fullback or Flyhalf has electrified both the Waratahs and the Wallabies, earning him the 2011 John Eales Medal – the most prestigious individual honour in Australian Rugby Union.

Kurtley is renowned for his blistering pace, elusive sidestep and inventive kicking game, making him one of the hardest attackers to defend against. He is also a hardworking team player with expert vision to pick and execute the right pass at the right time.

Kurtley joins the RaboDirect Rebels at the beginning of the club’s second season after spending the previous five with the Waratahs. He made his debut in 2007, aged just 18 and quickly asserted himself on the Super Rugby competition. Later that year he competed for Australia A, made his full international debut in 2009 and in 2010 was honoured as Australia’s Rookie of the Year. He is now at the forefront of a dynamic breed of young Wallabies whose free-flowing style earned Australia the 2011 Tri Nations title.

 

The Rebels kick off their 2012 season on Friday 2 March against the Waratahs (AAMI Park at 7.40pm). The have the bye in round one.

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