Super Rugby Pacific: Taniela Tupou to swap Reds for Melbourne Rebels

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Melbourne Rebels have announced the signing of Wallabies tighthead prop Taniela Tupou, who has joined them on a multi-year contract.

The 26-year-old, who is currently plying his trade with the Reds, is set to arrive in Melbourne at the end of the current Super Rugby Pacific campaign and will remain a Rebel until at least the end of 2025.

Big boost for the Rebels

Tupou’s signature will boost the Rebels‘ front-row stocks as well as their strength and international experience.

His value will also be felt off the field as he will be a valuable addition to the Rebels’ Pasifika efforts, which is designed to promote and celebrate Pasifika culture and tradition while enriching the lives of its community through rugby.

Melbourne Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson believes acquiring Tupou’s services is a special moment in the club’s history, and feels his addition next season would only help the Rebels build off this year’s efforts.

“To have someone of Taniela’s calibre join the Melbourne Rebels is exciting news for our loyal members and fans, and the wider Victorian community,” he told the Melbourne Rebels’ official website.

“In a city built on sporting excellence, Taniela’s signing enhances our efforts to grow our game across Victoria, particularly as we head into the Golden Decade with a Lions Tour and a home Rugby World Cup on the horizon.

“We’ve worked really hard with our preparation and can’t wait for the year ahead. Adding such a world class player to our Club next season will only strengthen our program and help us build on 2023.”

After initially hitting the headlines at schoolboy level, Tupou made his Test debut for Australia against Scotland in 2017 and has gone on to represent the Wallabies on 47 occasions.

Sidelined through injury

He is currently sidelined with and Achilles injury but is pushing to be part of the Wallabies’ squad for the World Cup in France later this year.

Tupou is excited about the prospect of joining the Rebels.

“I’d like to thank Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels for the opportunity to continue my career here in Australia for the next two years,” he said.

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