Daley heads east to link with the Rebels

THE movement from the west has begun with the announcement on Wednesday that former Wallaby prop Ben Daley has signed with the Melbourne Rebels until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Daley has three Tests to his name – in June 2010 v England (2) and Ireland – and was part of the Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby championship team in 2012.

The 29-year-old loosehead prop will add some great experience to the Rebels playing group and his movement east is sure to be just the start of a number of players getting out of Perth.

“I’m grateful to the Western Force and their supporters for the incredible support this year, but given the current situation I had to make the difficult decision in the best interest of my family and my rugby career,” Daley said.

“I am excited about the opportunity in Melbourne, direction of the Club and really look forward to contributing to the Rebels.”

Daley spent nine years with the Reds, where played 79 games and started in the club’s 2011 Super Rugby title, following his debut off the bench against the Crusaders in 2008.

Daley joined the Western Force in 2017 where he made eight appearances before an injury prematurely ended his season.

The signing is another boost to the Rebels forward pack for 2018 following the signing of home-grown talent Tetera Faulkner and re-signing of Amanaki Mafi ahead of 2018.

“Ben’s balanced approach to rugby through his quality work on and off the field will be a great addition to the Melbourne Rebels and fits well with the club’s values,” Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.

“We’re compassionate for the challenging situation that faced Ben and his family but we’re pleased that the Rebels can provide him with an opportunity to continue his Super Rugby career and an avenue to pursue his Wallabies dream.”

Daley’s will be reunited with Super Rugby premiership teammates James Hanson and Will Genia at the Rebels in 2018.

The Rebels continue to build its squad for 2018 with Daley the latest addition following the recruitment of Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia, the return home of Faulkner, rising stars Harrison Goddard and Henry Hutchison and former England international Geoff Parling.