Rebels utility back Jonah Placid has extended his stay with the Melbourne-based franchise by signing a new deal until the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
20-year-old Placid, who was the youngest member of the Rebels’ squad in 2015, moved to Melbourne twelve months ago and made two Super Rugby appearances for the Rebels in his maiden campaign, scoring a try on his Rebels debut as he started against the Lions.
He also played seven times for the Melbourne Rising in the 2014 National Rugby Championship (NRC) and starred for Australia at the World Rugby U20s Championships in Italy, scoring five tries and being shortlisted as one of four nominees for the World U20 Player of the Year award.
"I was very keen to extend my contract at the Rebels," Placid told the Melbourne Rebels' official website.
"I’ve loved it down here in Melbourne since my very first week this time last year, and I’m pleased to stay and continue to develop within a team that is building a strong culture on and off the field.
"I’ve made some really close friends already, particularly among my fellow first and second year players,and I’m also very fortunate to have a number of role models and people I look up to here in Melbourne at the Rebels, including Mitch Inman and Scott Fuglistaller.
"Mitch and Scott are two very different blokes who have had a great influence on me; Mitch has really tucked me under his wing on the field, while Scott is just a great all-round leader who I look up to a lot in everything he does."
Placid’s season was interrupted by a mid-season groin setback, however he successfully returned to fitness via the Direct Connect Dewar Shield, where he represented Grand Finalists Melbourne Uni, before heading to Italy for the World Rugby U20s Championships.
All in all it was a strong first campaign in Melbourne for Placid, and Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said the player's commitment to improve and dedication to his craft are exciting signs for the club.
"Jonah’s first year at the Rebels has been an important learning experience," said McGahan.
"He has learnt a lot about the work that is required to play Super 15 successfully, and how to apply that across all elements of his personal preparation.
"We love what he can bring to us as an individual player, and what he adds to the off field experience here in Melbourne. Jonah wants to continue to get better and realise his potential, and that’s the type of player we want to ensure we keep here at the Rebels.
"We’re all very much looking forward to his continued progression and watching him continue to mature as a player and a person, right here in Melbourne."
Placid’s goals for next season and beyond in Melbourne are characteristically unselfish.
"For me, my goal in 2016 is to be the best player I can be on and off the field," he added.
"I need to get my fitness and preparation right to achieve what I can do, and also help all of my teammates whether I’m in the matchday 23 or not so we can achieve as much as possible."