Melbourne Rebels re-sign Horie for another season

The Melbourne Rebels have signed Japanese International hooker Shota Horie for another Super Rugby season.

Having now played 23 Tests for the Cherry Blossoms, Horie has been in spectacular form of late, playing a starring role in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup during the June break.

“I am very glad to stay here in Melbourne for the 2014 season,” Horie said.

“In my first year, I could not contribute to the team as much as I would have liked, but was able to learn a lot about Super Rugby .

“Next season I am looking to play more minutes and continue to earn the respect of my
teammates on the field.”

Rebels Assistant Coach and former Wallaby, Matt Cockbain, has been very impressed with Shota in his rookie Super Rugby season, and says he is already showing signs of his ability to be a Super Rugby starter in next year’s competition.

“Shota is one of the most skillful forwards in the competition,” said Cockbain.

“His application and professionalism is world class, which earned him his first Super Rugby start against the Blues in Auckland.

“His set piece has come a long way in one season, in particular his scrummaging which he has spent the vast majority of his efforts on since arriving at the Club this year.

“He is a very popular member of the squad, and the playing group and coaching staff have a lot of faith in his Rugby ability, and we are very pleased he is going to remain a Rebel for the 2014 season.”

The 27 year old will play his second season in Melbourne as the first Japanese International to play Super Rugby in Australia.

Having left the Club recently for international duties, Shota led the way for the Cherry Blossoms in their historic 23-8 win against Wales in Tokyo, their first against a top tier nation.

Horie said his experience in Tokyo last month was a great insight into the contrasting styles of Rugby around the world, which will hopefully see him in the starting line up in 2014, with the departure of Foundation Rebels hooker, Ged Robinson.

“Like all of my teammates, I would like to start as many games as possible.

“Playing for Japan is something I am very proud of, and I always learn from every test I play.

“I hope I can continue to develop my rugby with this team which has a lot of potential.”

Horie will play fellow Japanese International and Highlanders halfback Fumiaki Tanaka, in the Rebels’ final match of the season at AAMI Park on Friday 12 July at 7:40PM

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