Dave Wessels has been appointed as head coach of the Melbourne Rebels from 2018 through to 2019.
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 assistant coach from 2014 to 2016 and promoted to head coach in 2017. The Force were axed from Super Rugby earlier this year.
The 34-year-old South Africa has since been linked with a move to Munster as Rassie Erasmus’ replacement. But on Friday it was confirmed that Wessels signed on as Rebels head coach on a two-year deal.
Wessels says he is grateful to everyone at the Rebels and within Australian rugby for helping make this move possible.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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 uncertainty 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”.’
Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images