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    Rebels sign home-grown hooker

    2016-08-02 11:50

    Cape Town - Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese has become the third home-grown player to sign his first professional Super Rugby contract with the Rebels.

    The 19-year-old, who plays for Melbourne University, follows in the footsteps of Sione Tuipulotu and Rob Leota to rise through Victorian Rugby's elite pathway to sign a contract with the Melbourne Rebels.

    It will be the first time in the Melbourne Rebels history that the club has three Victorians in their squad.

    "We are pleased with Jordan's development as a hooker over the last 12 months through the Melbourne Rising, Rebels Development Squad and Australian Under-20's. He's got an exciting future ahead of him," said Melbourne Rebels General Manager Rugby Operations Baden Stephenson.

    "Developing and providing opportunity for home grown talent remains a strategic priority for the Melbourne Rebels so we're pleased the hard work by many people in Victorian Rugby is being recognised."

    The Victorian's move from the back to the front-row has paid dividends for the 189cm and 122kg hooker.

    After helping the Melbourne Rebels Under-20's to the inaugural Super U20s Championship grand final, Uelese started all five of Australia's games at the World Rugby Under-20's Championship in Manchester.

    "It's a childhood dream come true to sign my first professional contract and even better to get it in my home town of Melbourne," Uelese said.

    "I am very grateful to the Rebels for the opportunity and especially my parents Tita and Sekaki Uelese for all they have done to get me this far, without them none of this would be possible.

    "I think back in the days you had to move around but it's awesome to be in Melbourne and shows there's a genuine pathway to being a professional footy player."

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