Under the continued leadership of Tony McGahan, the Rebels have confirmed their coaching team through until the end of 2016.
Under the continued leadership of Tony McGahan, the Rebels have confirmed their coaching structure through until the end of 2016.
McGahan will be joined by former Super Rugby-winning assistant coach Todd Louden and current head coach of the Canon Eagles, Zane Hilton, while Baden Stephenson has been promoted to the role of General Manager of Rugby Operations effective immediately.
Rebels CEO Rob Clarke welcomed the finalisation of the coaching structure, and the new additions to the club.
“I'm delighted to confirm that under the continued leadership of head coach Tony McGahan; this is the coaching structure that will take the Rebels through to the end of the 2016 season,” said Clarke.
“With the on-field coaching and management structure secured for a further two seasons, this is confirmation that we are confident in the Club's direction and development of our Rugby program.”
Louden comes to Melbourne with a wealth of experience, having won a Super Rugby title in 2007 as an assistant coach with the Bulls, before returning to Australia with the Waratahs as the attack coach, leading them to the to the Super Rugby Final in 2008.
Todd then commenced a successful stint with Japanese powerhouse Ricoh Black Rams, seeing them promoted and contesting the All Japan Finals from 2009 to 2011.
“I am absolutely honoured to be joining the Melbourne Rebels,” said Louden.
“It's an exciting time for the Rebels, where the entire on and off field teams have a strong sense of purpose and solidarity. It's all led by Tony McGahan, who I believe has a great vision for the team.
“The squad is young with great potential, with many players that I have coached previously and watched develop, and I am excited to work with them once again to help them achieve success individually and as a squad over the next couple of seasons.
“Zane Hilton and I are blessed to be entering an Australian Super Rugby team with such passionate supporters, highly professional staff and a strong program foundation from which to develop the squad. We will be working our butts off to ensure the Melbourne Rebels are a genuine threat in Super Rugby, and a team that Victorian and Australian Rugby supporters can be proud of.”
Zane Hilton is regarded as a hard-nosed forwards coach with international experience, originating at Benetton in Italy before returning to the famed Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane, achieving a Premiership as head coach and general manager.
Hilton then took on the challenge in Japan at Kyuden Voltex from 2011 to 2013, before moving on to his current position, where he is now Head Coach of Canon Eagles in Japan's Top League.
Hilton said he was looking forward to the opportunity to build on the strong foundations laid at the Rebels in 2014.
“I am really excited to be given the opportunity to join the Rebels coaching team; in Tony, Todd and (Head of Athletic Performance) Bryce Cavanagh, I will be working alongside an on-field team who are truly world class and respected globally.
“I was incredibly impressed with Tony and Baden upon speaking with them, and I feel confident in the positive direction the Rugby program is taking,” Hilton said. “This leadership, coupled with the huge potential in the playing group, will allow us to strive hard for success.
“The playing group has demonstrated a passion for hard work, driven by the leadership in place at the club, and I look forward to being a part of this for the next two seasons.
“Melbourne's sporting history is certainly rich with success and the opportunity to assist in building a strong Rugby culture here at the Rebels is exciting. Having been involved in programs in Italy, Brisbane and Japan, I am passionate about maximising the individual player's potential.”
Both Louden and Hilton will commence with the Rebels on November 1, and will replace the departing Sean Hedger and Matt Cockbain.