Rebels add playmaker Lance and feared Rangi
The Melbourne Rebels have bolstered their squad ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season with the inclusion of highly regarded flyhalf Jono Lance and feared hooker Anaru Rangi.
The pair are the latest in a string of signings to commit to what is shaping to be a dynamic and entertaining playing squad.
“We’re pleased to have Jono and Anaru committed to us,” Melbourne Rebels General Manager Professional Rugby & Pathways Nick Ryan said.
“As a two-time Super Rugby champion, Jono has a deep understanding of successful high performance environments and will provide us with valuable experience and competition for a number of positions across our backline.
“We’ve seen Anaru grow as a player over the last couple of years through his consistent performance at both Super Rugby and the National Rugby Championship and believe he will add valuable depth to our forwards.”
The experienced Lance will bring 51 games of Super Rugby experience to Melbourne in a seven-year career which has included Super Rugby titles with both the Queensland Reds in 2011 and NSW Waratahs in 2014.
The 27-year-old versatile playmaker earned Wallabies squad selection for last year’s Spring Tour and appeared in the Wallaby XV in their tour match against the French Barbarians.
Lance, who will join the club after a short-term contract with English Premiership side Worcester, will provide Head Coach Dave Wessels with a utility option across the backline having started Super Rugby games at flyhalf, inside and outside centre, and fullback.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to be a part of a very competitive squad at the Rebels and I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of the club on and off the field,” Lance said.
Rangi’s committed and physical style earned the former full-time scaffolder his first professional contract in 2016 after he impressed in his maiden National Rugby Championship season with the Perth Spirit.
The bone rattling 29-year-old impressed in his nine appearances off the bench for the Force as a back-up to Wallaby mainstay hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and continued to lead by example as vice-captain of the Spirit in 2017.
Rangi’s performance and consistency during the 2017 NRC was recognised with Barbarians selection for October’s exhibition game against the Wallabies.
“The rugby environment at the Rebels is the best place for me to develop my game so I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue work with and alongside a group of quality coaches and players to bring the best out of me,” Rangi said.
The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off their 2018 Super Rugby season at home when they host the Queensland Reds on Friday 23 February at AAMI Park, Melbourne, from 7.30pm (AEDT).
Join the Rebel Army for the 2018 Super Rugby with memberships now on sale from as little as $88 for an adult, $35 for children and $216 for a family of four for all eight home games. For more information, visit melbournerebels.com.