Rebels scrum-half signs new deal

Date published: June 6 2014

Rebels scrum-half Ben Meehan has committed his future to the Melbourne-based franchise by signing a new two-year contract.

Rebels scrum-half Ben Meehan has committed his future to the Melbourne-based franchise by signing a new two-year contract.

Meehan, who has made seven appearances including two starts in his first season at the Rebels, resisted overtures to move interstate.

The former Melbourne Storm academy player, and 2013 Australian U20s star, joined the Rebels ahead of the 2014 season and has impressed the franchise's hierarchy and members with his tenacity, grit, accurate pass and clever kicking game.

“It was a really tough decision,” Meehan told the Rebels' official website.

“I had a lot of interest, including from Queensland, which is originally home and where all of my family is. That was tough to turn down, but I genuinely think this is the best Club for me for the next two years, and I am really looking forward to it.

“The direction that the Club is going in; the staff, the players and everybody here are a big family. 'Dumper' (Tony McGahan) is doing a really good job in directing everybody and I really get along well with him; that's a major influence for me. I can go and see the coach when I need to see him, and I can talk to him about any personal problems.”

That bond with McGahan is also helping Ben on the field as well as off, with the young scrumhalf believing that the glut of young players committing can be at least partially attributed to McGahan's developmental abilities.

“Tony is super tough on me, which is what I need; that's how you get the best out of people, by constantly putting them under pressure. I find that he is continually expecting, and then getting, the best out of all of us.”

“There's a big group of young fellas committing, such as Sean McMahon, Jack Debreczeni, Sam Jeffries and Colby Fainga'a, and that definitely affected my decision. We all get along like a house on fire, and we're all growing as a young playing group. We should be here together for a long time, which is really good.”

McGahan shared Meehan's delight as he extends his stay in Melbourne.

“Its great news for the Club that we can re-sign another really promising young player,” he said.

“It really augurs well going forward that we are able to continue to retain quality young players that have come into the program this year, and it gives us a really strong base to work from in what is a really competitive market.

“We knew how keen Ben was to come down to the Rebels and really stamp himself on the program. To be able to play Super Rugby, and start the last two games in trying circumstances, has been great and Ben demands great respect from the coaching staff and the rest of the players. We're looking forward to him finishing the year strongly, and then continuing to develop over the next two years.”

McGahan is pleased with the way Meehan has handled himself when thrust into Super Rugby action this season.

“Ben has been terrific with his application, and has worked exceptionally hard to ensure when opportunities arose that he was good enough to take them,” he added.

“When he wasn't selected, he kept working very hard to ensure when opportunities were presented he was able to take them, and he has been able to handle himself really well in such a demanding competition.”

Meehan will compete with Wallaby Luke Burgess and Nic Stirzaker, who are both signed for the 2015 season, for the Rebels' number nine jersey.