The Melbourne Rebels roster for the 2017 Super Rugby season continues to take shape with Australian lock Alex Toolis signing his first professional Super Rugby contract with the franchise.
Brisbane-born Toolis will return to Australia after playing for Edinburgh in the PRO12 since 2013, which included an appearance in the 2015 European Challenge Cup final.
The 24-year-old moved to Scotland after he helped the GPS Old Boys to the 2013 Queensland Premier Rugby Grand Final.
Toolis, along with twin brother Ben, was a member of the Australian Rugby Union’s National Academy where he played in the Pacific Nations Cup.
Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan said his experience in a set piece dominated northern hemisphere will be a welcome addition to the team.
“Alex is an athletic and skilled lock who will bring strong set piece experience to the Melbourne Rebels and a hungry attitude to succeed in the world’s toughest Rugby competition,” McGahan told the Rebels' official website.
Standing at over two metres tall, the 117kg lock made 25 appearances, including two tries, for Edinburgh, along with short-term loans with 2015 PRO12 champions Glasgow Warriors and London Irish.
Toolis is looking forward to testing his skills against the world’s best.
“Playing in Europe was a great experience and helped develop my game but I’m excited by the opportunity to return home and test myself against the world’s best players with the Melbourne Rebels,” he said.
Toolis will play for the Melbourne Rising in the upcoming 2016 Australia's National Rugby Championship (NRC), the seven-week national underpinning competition to Super Rugby.
The Rising plays a key role in the development and preparation of athletes for the rigours of professional rugby.