Double delight for Rebels
Somerville and MacDonald to join Melbourne
Last Updated: 23/04/10 10:15am
Somerville: Joining the Rebels
Melbourne Rebels have quickly put the loss of their chief executive behind them by announcing the signings of All Blacks prop Greg Somerville and former Highlanders captain Hoani MacDonald.
The Rebels were rocked on Friday by the departure on Brian Waldron on Friday after he was caught up in the salary cap scandal that hit his former employers Melbourne Storm.
However it has been business as usual for the coach Rod Macqueen as he looks to piece together a side capable to surviving in the expanded Super 15 competition.
Somerville, who is New Zealand's most capped prop, will arrive at the Rebels from Premiership outfit Gloucester.
And Somerville admitted that family reasons meant the timing was right for the move to Melbourne.
"I've loved every minute of my time with Gloucester, I just feel that now is the right time for my family to be nearer home, particularly with our third child being born just before Christmas," said Somerville, whose Gloucester team-mate Gareth Delve is also joining the Rebels.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Rod Macqueen in helping establish a brand new Super Rugby team."
Macqueen believes that Somerville will offer valuable experience to his new-look side.
"Greg is highly regarded amongst his peers and a proven leader on the field," Macqueen said.
"His scrummaging skills are renowned. He'll be a great contributor to the style of rugby we'll be playing in 2011."
Somerville will be joined at the new franchise by fellow New Zealander MacDonald, who has been a key figure in the Newport Gwent Dragons pack.