Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have for the first time confirmed the signing of two homegrown talents in Sione Tuipulotu and on two year deals.
In a pivotal moment for the Club, Southern Districts centre Tuipulotu and Northern Panthers forward Leota will become the first ever Victorian players who have entered the professional Rugby pathway without having to leave their home state, a privilege not previously afforded to Victorian talent.
Melbourne Rebels' Head Coach Tony McGahan said it was satisfying for everybody involved with the Club to sign the eighteen year old duo.
"From the inception of the Melbourne Rebels in 2011 until now, there has always existed a desire and need to develop our own elite local talents," McGahan said. "It has taken a huge amount of work from a number of people in the Victorian Rugby community to make this possible, and we are confident that we will see this occur with greater regularity in the future.
"Nic Henderson, in his role with the Elite Pathways program, has played a big part in helping these players grow and graduate into the professional environment. It is Sione and Rob's natural ability, work ethic and sacrifices that have led them here and that will allow them to succeed at the Rebels."