Melbourne Rebels (ARC)
- This article refers to the team that took part in the Australian Rugby Championship in 2007. For the Super Rugby team, formed in 2010, of the same name, see Melbourne Rebels.
|Union||Australian Rugby Union|
|Ground(s)||Olympic Park Stadium|
|League(s)||Australian Rugby Championship|
The Rebels were formed as the only Victorian club to participate in the inaugural season of the domestic championship, starting in August 2007. Over this time, the team was based at the Olympic Park Stadium, Melbourne. The Melbourne Rebels were the only ARC club that was not directly linked to a Super Rugby franchise as Victoria did not have one at the time.
Prior to Melbourne being allocated a position in the foundation season of the Australia Rugby Championship, a Victorian consortium had bid to get a Super 12 license. In 2006 the Super 12 expanded to become the Super 14, a 14 team competition, with one new license going to an Australian team and the other to a South African team. Victoria and Western Australia were the leading bidders for the license, and it eventually allocated to Western Australia, creating the Western Force.
The inaugural Australian Rugby Championship started August 2007, including eight teams, one of which based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was rumoured that the New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU) gave up a fourth club to enable Victoria to participate in the new national competition. It was subsequently revealed that thet club would be playing out of Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne the current home of the Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Victory.
In December 2006, prior to club colours and name being known, the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) announced that former Burnside, Australian Sevens and Sydney University coach Bill Millard and former Wallaby Fletcher Dyson as the head coach and coach consultant respectively. Former Rugby World Cup-winning coach Rod Macqueen is also thought to have some involvement with the club.
The club was officially launced in March 2007, which unveiled details of the new team, including their name; the Melbourne Rebels. The launch took place at Crown’s Palladium, and the team's first signings were revealed. The Rebels' first league game was an away win against the Canberra team in round one. The Rebels played their first home match in front of 4,875 people at Olympic Park the following week, beating the East Coast Aces.
The Rebels played the Central Coast in the inaugural ARC Grand Final, after defeating minor premiers Western Sydney in their semi-final 23 to 3. They were defeated by the Rays 20 points to 12 in the Grand Final, finishing runners-up in the inaugural competition.
Colours and logo
The Rebels' colours and logo were unveiled at the official launch of the club on 29 March 2007. As well as the colours and logo and the teams jersey, which is manufactured by Canterbury of New Zealand. The Rebels' jersey consisted of a traditional hoop design, with the club colours of navy blue and white, navy blue being the traditional state colour of Victoria.
The colours are consistent with the Victorian Axemen jersey, the senior Victorian side that represented Victoria in the Australian Rugby Shield since 2000. The Rebels' logo is a blue crest with an M with stars of around it plus one in the centre, with Rebels written in red underneath. The stars are meant to represent the Southern Cross and the Eureka Flag.
The Rebels name was chosen in consultation with the local rugby community. VRU officials decided on the Rebels name in reference to Victoria's first Wallaby, Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop. Chris "Buddha" Handy at the launch, said that “like the great Weary Dunlop, Victorian rugby has a history of daring to be different, a touch of the larrikin, and always having a go. These qualities are what you want in a Rebel and characterize the way Victoria is successfully tackling this historic year”.
The Melbourne Rebels played their ARC home games at the Olympic Park Stadium located in inner Melbourne. Olympic Park, which has a capacity of around 18,500 was built in 1956. It has also in the past been home to rugby league and soccer matches. The Melbourne Rebels played their first home match at Olympic Park in round 2 when they beat the East Coast Aces 34-24.
The Melbourne Rebels were allowed to sign a number of players from the four Australian Super 14 franchises. This includes three players from Brumbies and Western Force, and one each from both the New South Wales Waratahs and Queensland Reds.
- David Croft
- Victorian Rugby Union (VRU)
- "New national rugby comp for 2007". news.com.au. Retrieved 2006-06-03.[dead link]
- "Victorian Rugby appoints Millard and Dyson to key coaching positions". rugby.com.au. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- "Melbourne Rebels on the rugby march". rugby.com.au. 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- Donaghy, Dave (2007-03-29). "Rebels show true colours". Herald Sun (News Limited). Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- "Melbourne Rebels Update" (PDF). vicrugby.com.au. 2007-08-03. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- "Meet the AAMI Melbourne Rebels Squad". vicrugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- "Croft named Rebels captain". foxsports.news.com.au.
- Melbourne Rebels
- Victorian Rugby Union
- Rebel Army
- Australian Rugby Championship on rugby.com.au
- Australian Rugby Championship on PrimeRugby.com