James Hanson to leave Reds for Melbourne Rebels

The Melbourne Rebels have announced that they have signed 26 year old Wallaby hooker and Super Rugby winner James Hanson for the 2016 and 2017 Super Rugby seasons.

Hanson made his Reds debut in 2010 and has played 80 games for Queensland. He has also played nine Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut for Australia in a draw against the All Blacks in 2012

Hanson was part of the original Melbourne Rebels side in the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) back in 2007. He joined the Reds in 2008 as a member of their academy squad and made his Super Rugby debut two years later.

Rebels’ Head Coach Tony McGahan worked with Hanson during his time as the Wallabies’ Coaching Coordinator, and he praised Hanson as an outstanding to the Rebels both on and off the field.

“The Rebels are delighted that James has decided to join the Club as we continue to go forward with our Rugby program,” he said.

“James’ excellence in the set piece area, added to his ability to contribute to our strong playing group, is invaluable.”

Hanson said he was excited about moving to Melbourne and joining the Rebels.

“I’m really pleased to announce that I’ll be moving to Melbourne to join the Rebels and work with Tony McGahan,” Hanson said.

“While I have loved every minute I have had playing for the Reds, I believe Melbourne is the best place for me to continue to play and progress with my Rugby.

“I have aspirations to achieve success at both a Club and International level, and I am confident that I will be able to realise these by moving to Melbourne and joining the Rebels. While my immediate focus is finishing the season well with the Reds, I am genuinely excited about the opportunity at the Rebels over the next few years.”

Hanson said while he was disappointed to be leaving his home state, he was looking forward to the new opportunities it would present.

“This was a difficult decision, but one I felt was in my best interests going forward. That being said, my current focus is on the remainder of the season and finishing well with the Reds.”

Hanson represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2005 and Australian U20s in 2006 and 2007, and played alongside new Rebels teammate Mike Harris in a short stint at North Harbour in New Zealand’s ITM Cup prior to making his Super Rugby debut.

Hanson’s durability is very impressive, as he has missed just three Super Rugby games since the start of the 2011 season.

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