The Rebels have confirmed that Gareth Delve and Ged Robinson will leave the Melbourne team at the end of the Super Rugby season.
The Rebels have confirmed that international players Gareth Delve and Ged Robinson will leave the Melbourne team at the end of the Super Rugby season.
With over 80 Super Rugby caps between them, the Welsh international and Junior All Black will depart the Australian franchise after fulfilling their three-year commitments.
Robinson and Delve will join Nick Phipps and Wallaby tourist Richard Kingi, who confirmed he will leave Australia to play for French club Stade FranÃ§ais, along with James King who also heads abroad.
“The Rebels were very grateful that the ARU allowed special dispensation for Ged and Gareth to remain at the club beyond their two year window, as part of the international marquee rulings,” said Rebels CEO, Rob Clarke.
“Gareth has been an inspirational leader since he arrived from the UK in 2010. We all know the impact Gareth has had on the rugby field, but what many people don't realise is the significant impact he has had within the Victorian rugby community, travelling throughout Victoria promoting rugby, visiting schools, clubs and local charities. He has been a true leader in the Five Star Engagement program.
“Ged arrived and quickly stated himself as the club's standout rake. He has been a fantastic player and very passionate about the game here in the community and has really embraced Melbourne, playing in the local Dewar Shield Competition with Harlequins and supporting Diabetes Victoria, a charity that is very close to his heart.”
Rebels Head Coach Damien Hill echoed similar sentiments about the Rebels.
“One of the club's finest moments was seeing Gareth take the field in his beloved Welsh colours in Canberra. The fact that so many Melbourne supporters travelled to see him play shows the impact he has had on this city,” said Hill.
“He has won some prominent awards in his time here at the Rebels and will be remembered as one of the greatest players to wear the five Stars.
“That is what this club has been able to provide. The Rebels have given Delvey the opportunity to play for Wales again. It has given Ged valuable Super Rugby experience, to return and challenge himself to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an All Black. Adding to this, what the Rebels have given our local players like Phipps, Vuna, Pyle, Neville and Inman who have all become a part of the Wallabies set up since the Rebels began.
“Knowing them both, they will want to leave this club winners and they have plenty more to play for, with the Lions match in June, and three local derbies against teams we have not beaten.”
The in-form Robinson spoke of his love for the club and the city of Melbourne, with his ambition to play for his country the contributing factor in returning home to New Zealand.
“It is a boyhood dream to play for the All Blacks, so I want to go back and give it a crack and put my name in the hat,” Robinson said.
“I would hate to look back on life and say I had a chan ce but didn't give it a go, so we will see how I get on over there. Playing regularly here has given me so much more confidence as a player and a person, and I am just so grateful to everybody at the Rebels for the opportunity presented to me.
“I never thought I would love a place outside New Zealand, and particularly in Australia, as much as I do now,” Robinson joked.
“Playing for the Rebels has made my career. The players and the stadium are the best I have ever played in, or in front of, and I don't know if I will ever realise that again.”