The Melbourne Rebels have continued to bolster their front row stocks, locking up Wallaby hooker Jordan Uelese for two more years.
The St Kevin’s College and Rugby Victoria product is the face of the ‘Burn Boys; a growing collective of Melbourne raised players starring in the Rebels squad.
For Uelese, the opportunity to settle his future in his home city was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“Melbourne is my home and Melbourne is where I wanted to be,” stated Uelese.
“I feel so privileged to represent my home town every time I pull on this jersey, so it’s pleasing to know I will here for a while yet.”
The signing blitz follows news of fellow front rowers Pone Fa’amausili and Cameron Orr committing to the Rebels this week.
“I feel like something really special is happening here,” said Uelese.
“You look at the number of young guys coming through and how they have made their mark on Super Rugby already.
“It’s exciting to feel like you’re a part of a squad that can be together for a long time fighting for titles.”
Uelese joins fellow Victorians Trevor Hosea, Pone Fa’amausili, Rob Leota and Matt To’omua in pioneering a new wave of rugby players born or raised in the AFL heartland.
“The growing number of Melbourne boys in the squad has been thrilling to see.
“You feel a commitment to all the young kids playing in this state to wave the flag for rugby and to show them that there is a pathway to the professional ranks.”
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach David Wessels was pleased to see his hooker recommit to the Club.
“We’re delighted that Jordie has agreed to continue his journey with us,” said Wessels.
“He grew up in Melbourne and came through our pathway program. He’s a popular member of the team and passionate about the club and city.
“We know our community feels a strong connection with our Victorian players. Jordie, along with some of our other local guys - Pone, Trev and Robbie and others, are using their opportunities to show what’s possible for young, aspirational players in our state.”
“His growth as both a player and a person has been noticeable this season. With hard work, we believe he can set the standard for hookers in Australia in the years to come.”