The Rebels have been handed a big boost ahead of Friday's clash with the Reds as outside centre Tamati Ellison inked a new contract at the franchise.
Ellison, who arrived from the Highlanders ahead of the 2014 season, has played a key role in the Rebels' midfield alongside Mitch Inman.
Fox Sports' Rugby HQ announced the news on Thursday as powerful and intelligent All Blacks centre Ellison agreed a two-year extension.
"It was tough deciding what to do; I was lucky enough to have options back in New Zealand to consider, and with my family missing home a wee bit I had to consider that," Ellison revealed.
"At the same time, I've really enjoyed my time here. We love Melbourne. My family and I have been fortunate enough to be associated with some great teams in the past; we love it in New Zealand, in Japan but also here. This year's gone a bit too quickly, but we're keen to spend more time here."