Rebels sign NZ lock Retallick
Melbourne - The Melbourne Rebels have
strengthened their squad for the 2016 season with the signing of lock Culum
Retallick from the Blues on a two year deal.
Retallick, 30, has made nearly 50 Super Rugby
appearances since debuting for the Chiefs in 2010, also representing the Blues
and Highlanders, where he played alongside future Rebels team-mates Tamati
Ellison and Adam Thomson.
He has also made close to a century of
appearances for Bay of Plenty in New Zealand’s ITM Cup since debuting as a
23-year-old in 2008, and joins the Rebels on a foreign developing player
Retallick said he was excited about
challenging himself professionally, and joining a team he has watched develop
in recent years.
“I always look forward to new challenges and
experiences with a new team, and also moving my family for the first time outside
of New Zealand,” Retallick told the Rebels’ official website.
“Over the last couple of years, there seems
to be a shift in the way the Rebels are playing, and there seems to be a lot of
hard work; they’re exciting times moving forward.
“I’m really looking forward to working with
Tony McGahan, Zane Hilton and the Rebels’ rugby programme, as well as playing
alongside a squad of players who I’ve enjoyed coming up against, and really
respected as opponents.”
Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said the
franchise would benefit from Retallick’s experience and skill-set.
“Culum coming from a strong Rugby
environment in New Zealand will bring a great deal of experience for us in the
lock position,” McGahan said.
“His set piece work will add to our depth
and playing style, as we look to improve on the 2015 season. We look forward to
Culum and his family moving to Melbourne in November to commence pre season