The Melbourne Rebels have announced the appointment of former Western Force coach David Wessels as the club’s new Head Coach until the end of 2019 Super Rugby season.
The former Western Force mentor will lead the Rebels into the club’s exciting new era after the 34-year-old chose to continue his promising coaching journey in Melbourne.
“I’m very grateful to everyone at the Rebels and within Australian rugby for helping make this move possible,” Wessels said.
“For me, the decision was driven by a strong feeling of ‘unfinished business’ in Super Rugby. I’m very passionate about rugby, and the game in this country has provided me with the opportunity to fulfil my dream to coach professionally. Part of repaying this faith is realising the success that I know we’re capable of.
“Make no mistake, our goal is to win Super Rugby. We’re finalising an exciting group of coaches and players who will not only contribute to building an enviable and winning culture at the club, but who will progress us towards that ultimate goal.
“I’m excited about the prospect of coaching in Melbourne as the Rebels share many of the characteristics I have grown to love from my time in Western Australia: their players and fans have shared our uncertainity over the past couple of months and we are the ‘outsiders’ of the traditional powers in Australian rugby. These are very powerful galvanising forces for a club, and we’re very motivated by the fact that it’s ‘us versus the rest’.”
Wessels will join the Rebels after five years with the Western Force, having joined the club as a Defence Consultant in 2013 before he was appointed Senior Assistant Coach from 2014-2016 and promoted to Head Coach in 2017.
The South African was part of previous Super Rugby campaigns with both the Stormers (2008) and the Brumbies (2012).
“We’re delighted that Dave will be joining us. He’s one of the brightest and most sought-after coaches in world rugby,” Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.
“He showed real leadership through an incredibly difficult period at the Western Force and has demonstrated his ability to build a world-class rugby program.”
The Melbourne Rebels will make further announcement regarding the make-up of their playing roster and coaching staff in the coming weeks.