Melbourne Rebels announce four new signings for 2018 Super Rugby season

The Melbourne Rebels have announced this signings of Western Force trio Billy Meakes, Richard Hardwick and Matt Phillip as well as West Harbour and 2017 Catchpole Medal winner Taylor Adams.

“We’re delighted to have Matt, Dickie (Richard) and Billy join us. All three of them work incredibly hard and want to be part of the Wallabies team at the next World Cup. They’ll be a great addition to our squad both on and off-field,” Wessels said.

“Tayler has shown exceptional potential this year with his consistency and game management for West Harbour and NSW Country Eagles.

“The four will add to our depth and versatility, as well as create healthy competition among the group.”

23-year old Adams continued his strong Shute Shield form in this year’s NRC with the NSW Country Eagles and earned his first Super Rugby contract after impressing for the Rebels in an exhibition game against the Top League’s Toyota Verblitz on Sunday.

Wallabies lock Philip will continue his rapid rise in Australian rugby after committing to the Rebels for the next two seasons.

The former Sydney Uni second rower capped off a remarkable year with a Wallabies debut against Japan after he established himself as the first-choice lock for the Western Force, where he made 10 appearances, including 8 starts, in 2017.

Fellow forward, Hardwick was a mainstay of the Force’s 2017 campaign which saw the versatile backrower appear in all 15 games, and finish the year in third at the club for pilfers and forced penalties.

Hardwick’s meteoric rise in Australian rugby was capped off with two Wallabies appearances in June, including the 23-year-old’s Test debut against Fiji at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Meakes has kept his Wallabies dream alive ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after he signed with the Melbourne Rebels until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The hard-running midfielder was named in the Wallabies squad in 2017 after the 26-year-old impressed in his first Super Rugby season with the Western Force, where he started all 14 appearances and finished the year as club’s leader for tackle busts and second for offloads, line break assists and runs.

The Rebels officially kicked-off their pre-season on Thursday.