New deals for Leafa, Metcher

Date published: July 7 2015

The Rebels have announced the re-signing of front-row pair Pat Leafa and Tim Metcher, who re-commit to the team until 2017 and 2016 respectively.

26-year-old hooker Leafa has made 34 appearances in his three seasons in Melbourne, not missing a Super Rugby match in the last two seasons, while Metcher joined the Rebels in 2015 and made his Super Rugby debut against the Waratahs in Sydney.

For Leafa, who was already contracted for the 2016 season, being offered an early extension showed the club's faith in him, his continued development and his positive influence on the team as a member of the Leadership Group.

"It's an eye opener in terms of where the coaching staff sees me," Leafa told the Rebels website.

"It shows that they believe in me and my re-signing shows that I believe in the club, and in our ability to deliver what the coaches want us to do and to get to where we want to be in the coming seasons. It's exciting, and I am grateful for the opportunity."

It's easy to forget that Leafa only made his Super Rugby debut in the penultimate round of the 2013 Super Rugby season, as he has become such a mainstay in the side since then.

"I haven't actually been around that long and every year has been challenging. I'm enjoying it, and extending my contract is a great opportunity as I want to continue to play alongside the other boys who are staying, and to further my development here under Tony McGahan and Zane Hilton," he added.

"There's two quality hookers coming in for 2016, James Hanson from the Reds and Siliva Siliva from the Brumbies, and that increased competition is really good; we'll be pushing each other hard. I'm really excited about what lies ahead next year, and all I can say is it's going to be exciting; I have a lot more to give and to prove."

Leafa and Metcher's re-signings take the Rebels' confirmed squad to 26 players for next season so far, with 16 of those players also re-signed until the end of 2017.

Following the conclusion of the 2015 campaign, Jed Gillespie, Tom Kingston, Tom Sexton, Telusa Veainu and Ben Whittaker's contracts have come to an end, and they have left the club, while utility-back Bryce Hegarty has informed his team-mates of his decision to accept a contract in Japan.