Rebels look overseas for forwards - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels look overseas for forwards

By Melissa Woods 26/02/2010 04:30:21 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Rebels are casting their recruitment net far and wide, looking to South Africa to bolster their forward stocks.

With the ARU announcing this week that the deadline for its domestic player transfer deadline for all provinces had been brought forward to March 15, the Rebels have been linked with a number of Australian players including NSW five-eighth Daniel Halangahu and lock David Dennis, as well as former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock, who is set to leave the Brumbies.

With quality props in short supply in Australia, head coach Rod Macqueen said they were looking for recruitments in South Africa, where there are almost half a million registered players.

"Certainly in some of the signings of marquee players there are some opportunities for us there in South Africa," Macqueen said.

"There's no doubt that one of the issues Australian rugby's got is that we don't have a lot of depth in that area."

The 1999 World Cup-winning coach said the Rebels had scouts on the ground in South Africa, while he already had a good insight into the player talent in the country.

He ruled out Argentina as a source of players because their best were already earning huge contracts in Europe.

Macqueen reiterated that Australian players were his priority but said in the longer term the Rebels would look to recruit younger South Africans, who could then qualify to play for the Wallabies after fulfilling residency requirements.

"From Melbourne's perspective, in the longer term that would be absolutely be on our radar because there's certainly a lot of ex-pat South Africans in Melbourne and there are a lot of people looking at emigrating so we'd be silly not to think that that's an opportunity for us in the future."

Melbourne have only signed one player, former English five-eighth Danny Cipriani, however they have already declared their intention to play the 22-year-old at fullback.

That would leave plenty of room in the line-up for Halangahu, or Wallabies vice-captain Berrick Barnes, who sits near the top of their wish-list.

"Nothing's in concrete but at this stage, that's the discussions we've had with him," Macqueen said of Cipriani.

"Playing five-eighth has certainly been his perspective in the past, but we're going to be playing the game quite differently and that's why I think Danny's got an open mind."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news