Timani chases World Cup dream with Rebels
Melbourne Rebels forward Lopeti Timani will chase his dream of a Rugby World Cup after committing to club and country until the end of 2019.
The 26-year-old has accepted a two-year contract extension with the Australian Rugby Union and Melbourne Rebels until the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Timani, one of a club record six Rebels on the Wallabies’ Spring Tour, made his international debut in 2016 after he accumulated 29 Super Rugby appearances, including six tries, since he joined the Rebels in 2014.
“Lopeti has worked hard for his opportunities this year with the Wallabies which is great recognition of his hard work and consistency over the last three years,” Melbourne Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said.
“He’s shown great commitment and focus to developing his core skills and fitness since his arrival at the club so we look forward to Lopeti playing a key role for the Rebels and Wallabies in the years to come.”
The powerful and hard-hitting forward emerged as a potential solution to the Wallabies No.8 vacancy during this year’s Rugby Championship and Spring Tour with five of his six international appearances in the backrow.
“I’m thankful for the opportunities in the last 12 months, it was a goal to play for the Wallabies and the result of lots of hard work, but I feel like there are lots of improvements that I can still make in my game,” Timani said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Melbourne over the last couple of years so I’m looking forward to working with Rebels head coach Tony McGahan and forwards coach Zane Hilton to give myself the best chance at fulfilling my dream of playing at the Rugby World Cup.”
Timani, along with his Melbourne-based Wallabies team mates, returned to training this week as preparations continue ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The Melbourne Rebels return to action in February with two trial matches against the Force (6 February) and Reds (14 February), along with the much anticipated Brisbane Global Rugby Tens (11-12 February. The Rebels will kick off the 2017 Super Rugby season against the Blues at AAMI Park on Thursday 23 February.
Melbourne Rebels membership and single game ticket packages are available from melbournerebels.com.