Rebels re-sign front rowers Leafa and Metcher

Melbourne based Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have re-signed front rowers
Pat Leafa until the 2017 Super Rugby season and Tim Metcher for 2016.

26 year old hooker Leafa has made 34 appearances for the Club in his three
seasons in Melbourne, not missing a Super Rugby match in the last two seasons,
while Metcher joined the Rebels in 2015 and made his Super Rugby debut against
the Waratahs in Sydney.

Metcher also came off the bench as the Rebels earned a bonus point victory
over the Blues in Round 13 at AAMI Park.

For Leafa, who was already contracted for the 2016 season, being offered an
early extension showed the Club’s faith in him, his continued development
and his positive influence on the team as a member of the Leadership Group.

“It’s an eye opener in terms of where the coaching staff sees me, ”
Leafa said.

“It shows that they believe in me and my re-signing shows that I believe
in the Club, and in our ability to deliver what the coaches want us to do and
to get to where we want to be in the coming seasons. It’s exciting, and
I am grateful for the opportunity. ”

It’s easy to forget that Leafa only made his Super Rugby debut in the
penultimate round of the 2013 Super Rugby season, as he has become such a mainstay
in the side since then.

“I haven’t actually been around that long, ” he laughs, “and
every year has been challenging. I’m enjoying it, and extending my contract
is a great opportunity as I want to continue to play alongside the other boys
who are staying, and to further my development here under Tony McGahan and Zane
Hilton.

“There’s two quality hookers coming in for 2016, James Hanson from
the Reds and Siliva Siliva from the Brumbies, and that increased competition
is really good; we’ll be pushing each other hard. I’m really excited
about what lies ahead next year, and all I can say is it’s going to be
exciting; I have a lot more to give and to prove. ”

McGahan said Leafa had proven himself to his teammates on and off the field,
and giving him the opportunity to extend his deal was a great reflection on
Pat.

“Pat has earned the respect of the playing group and the staff at the
Club through his desire to constantly better himself, his tireless work ethic
and the respect he shows for everybody at the Rebels, ” McGahan said.

“Pat’s performances this year, in regards to his defensive work,
scrummaging and his desire to take the ball into traffic were first class. Pat
understands that both he and the team still have plenty more to give and achieve,
and with this we are delighted he sees his future here in Melbourne. ”

Coffs Harbour junior Metcher said he was pleased to remain with the Club for
at least another season.

“It was a no brainer to re-sign and stay in Melbourne with the Rebels;
I have had such a great experience so far, and grown both on and off the field,
so I was pumped to extend my deal, ” he said.

“It was great to make my Super Rugby debut earlier this year; I’ve
had a couple of chances now and it’s been amazing to experience that.
Now, my challenge is that I want to grow and build on the platform in 2016.
While we’ve come a long way this year, we’ve really just hit the
tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’re capable of, and that’s
exciting. ”

McGahan paid tribute to Metcher for working hard to earn a new deal.

“Tim had to work hard to earn his first opportunity in Super Rugby, and
we’ve seen that same work ethic on display since he moved to Melbourne, ”
he said. “We’re looking forward to his continued development in
2016. ”

Leafa and Metcher’s re-signings take the Rebels’ confirmed squad
to 26 players for next season so far, with 16 of those players also re-signed
until the end of 2017.<

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