MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Nic Stirzaker of the Rebels passes the ball during the round eight Super Rugby match between the Rebels and the Brumbies at AAMI Park on April 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Despite the possibility of not having a place in the Super Rugby competition in 2018, the Melbourne Rebels have managed to re-sign four players beyond 2017.

Skipper Nic Stirzaker and hooker James Hansen have both signed one year contract extensions, while Steve Hansen and Fereti Sa’aga have re-signed for two more seasons.

Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said it is a great show of faith in the club.

“Our squad for 2018 and beyond continues to take shape with four highly respected and quality individuals who will contribute to the Melbourne Rebels,” Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said in a statement.

“Nic, James, Steve and Fereti have all significantly contributed positively to the club on and off the field during a challenging season.”

One of the Rebels or the Western Force will be axed at the end of the season as the competition will be cut from 18 teams to 15. Niether side has ever made the Super Rugby finals.

An announcement is expected to be made at the end of the season.