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Rebels nab a Wallaby for 2021

As big signings go, snaring a championship-winning scrum-half who also happens to be a Wallaby is good business for the Melbourne Rebels. Joe Powell, fresh off playing a leading role in the Brumbies’ Super Rugby AU grand final win and currently in camp with the Wallabies, is the Melbourne club’s first new signing for 2021.The…

As big signings go, snaring a championship-winning scrum-half who also happens to be a Wallaby is good business for the Melbourne Rebels.

Joe Powell, fresh off playing a leading role in the Brumbies’ Super Rugby AU grand final win and currently in camp with the Wallabies, is the Melbourne club’s first new signing for 2021.

The departure of the South African teams from Super Rugby and ongoing tense relationships between Rugby Australia and their New Zealand counterparts have made it increasingly likely 2021 will feature a repeat of this year’s domestic competition.

Melbourne made the finals for the first time in club history this season, and the inclusion of Powell should only make them better next season.

“We’ve obviously played against Joe many times over the years and know just what a competitor he is,” Rebels coach Dave Wessels said.

“Aside from the skill and intensity he brings on the field, it’s obvious that he’s a good team man. He’s a great fit for Melbourne.”

Powell, 26, has only ever played for the Brumbies at the top level and made his Wallabies debut in 2017 against Fiji, fittingly in Melbourne, and has four Test caps.

He was also included in the new look 44-man Wallabies squad for the upcoming Test season.

“I’m super excited for the opportunity to join a new club and move to a whole new city,” Powell said.

“I’ll never forget debuting for the Wallabies at AAMI Park – I’ve got plenty of fond memories there and also some not so good memories against the Rebels where we got touched up a few times, so it’ll be nice to be with the home team now.

“I think the Rebels had a really good season this year, so I’m excited to do my bit and help them improve even more next season.

“I’ve known a few of the fellas like Hodgey (Reece Hodge), Pup (Matt To’omua) and Dane (Haylett-Petty) from my time throughout Wallabies squads, so from what I’ve heard it’s a really good group down there.

“I’m really excited to be part of that group now going forward.”

Powell’s signing comes after starting scrum-half Ryan Louwrens returned to the Rebels’ Japanese partners, the Kintetsu Liners.

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