The Melbourne Rebels have annonced the signing of lock Culum Retallick from the Blues on a two-year deal.
Retallick has made nearly 50 Super Rugby appearances since debuting for the Chiefs in 2010, also representing the Blues and Highlanders, where he played alongside future Rebels team-mates Tamati Ellison and Adam Thomson.
He has also made close to a century of appearances for Bay of Plenty in the ITM Cup since debuting as a 23-year-old in 2008, and joins on a foreign developing player contract.
Retallick said he was excited about challenging himself professionally, and joining a team he has watched develop in recent years.
“I always look forward to new challenges and experiences with a new team, and also moving my family for the first time outside of New Zealand,” said Retallick.
“Over the last couple of years, there seems to be a shift in the way the Rebels are playing, and there seems to be a lot of hard work; they’re exciting times moving forward.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Tony McGahan, Zane Hilton and the Rebels’ Rugby program, as well as playing alongside a squad of players who I’ve enjoyed coming up against, and really respected as opponents.”
Rebels’ head coach Tony McGahan said that the club would benefit from Retallick’s experience and skillset.
“Culum coming from a strong Rugby environment in New Zealand will bring a great deal of experience for us in the lock position,” he explained.
“His set piece work will add to our depth and playing style, as we look to improve on the 2015 season. We look forward to Culum and his family moving to Melbourne in November to commence pre season training.”