The Melbourne Rebels have announced the signing of Reds hooker James Hanson for the 2016 and 2017 Super Rugby seasons.
Hanson, who has made 78 Super Rugby appearances for the Reds since his debut in February 2010, was part of the original Melbourne Rebels side in the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) back in 2007, and he has made nine appearances for the Wallabies since making his Test debut in a draw against the All Blacks in 2012.
Rebels’ head coach Tony McGahan worked with Hanson during his time as the Wallabies’ coaching coordinator, and he praised Hanson as an outstanding to the Rebels both on and off the field.
“The Rebels are delighted that James has decided to join the club as we continue to go forward with our Rugby program,” he said.
“James’ excellence in the set piece area, added to his ability to contribute to our strong playing group, is invaluable.”
Hanson said he was excited about moving to Melbourne and joining the Rebels.
“I’m really pleased to announce that I’ll be moving to Melbourne to join the Rebels and work with Tony McGahan,” said the 26-year-old who won the Super Rugby title with the Reds in 2011.
“While I have loved every minute I have had playing for the Reds, I believe Melbourne is the best place for me to continue to play and progress with my Rugby.
“I have aspirations to achieve success at both a Club and International level, and I am confident that I will be able to realise these by moving to Melbourne and joining the Rebels.
"While my immediate focus is finishing the season well with the Reds, I am genuinely excited about the opportunity at the Rebels over the next few years.”
Hanson represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2005 and Australian U20s in 2006 and 2007, and played alongside new Rebels team-mate Mike Harris in a short stint at North Harbour in New Zealand’s ITM Cup prior to making his Super Rugby debut.
Hanson’s durability is very impressive, as he has missed just three Super Rugby games since the start of the 2011 season.