Rebels sign Gillespie for 2015 Super Rugby season

Melbourne Super Rugby side the Rebels have signed loosehead prop Jed Gillespie to their Extended Playing Squad (EPS) for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Gillespie, who represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2010 alongside fellow Rebel Steve Cummins, attended The King ‘s School in Sydney and joins the Club from Eastwood in Sydney ‘s Shute Shield competition on the back of a Premiership campaign alongside Cummins.

22 year old Gillespie represented the Greater Sydney Rams in all eight games of their Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) campaign, learning from Wallaby loosehead prop Benn Robinson, and he is renowned for his strong work in the set piece and love of carrying the ball.

Gillespie has spent the entire pre-season training with the Rebels as part of a Rebels Development Squad (RDS), and his work ethic and coachability have impressed Rebels ‘ Head Coach Tony McGahan.

“Jed was given the opportunity to join us for pre-season with a view to securing a contract, and he has certainly delivered in the major focus areas set out for himself,” McGahan said. “He adds value to our program through his desire to improve and to succeed, and we ‘re confident that the coaches can add the technical elements Jed will need to contribute strongly to our Rugby program here in Melbourne.”

For Gillespie, signing a first professional contract represents an opportunity to step up to the next level.

“I ‘m very, very excited to join the Rebels; I have been around Club Rugby for a little while, and I ‘m pleased to get a shot to step up into professional Rugby,” he said.

“I was given the great opportunity to come down and train, and to then translate that training into a contract is fantastic.”

Jed is under no illusions that Super Rugby is the toughest provincial competition in the world, and that he will need to continue to improve if he is to have an impact.

“Playing for the Rams was good; the NRC was faster, and more intense, than Club Rugby and I got to test myself against some very good professional players. I ‘m now looking forward to stepping up again to Super Rugby if I get the opportunity this year. I would love to get on the field and play some games; I want to add to the team and help out wherever I can, and if that means game time against the best in the world it would be great.”

Jed has already benefitted from pre-season with his new teammates, feeling well and truly settled in, and he is taking advantage of learning from two-time Super Rugby winning loosehead prop Toby Smith.

“Going through the grind of pre-season with the rest of the boys helps you fit in, and become part of the team quicker,” he said. “Toby (Smith) is somebody who I watch carefully in training and follow his techniques, and he is always keen to have a chat and help me out wherever possible. I ‘m really happy with how everything has started off for me in Melbourne.”

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