Melbourne Rebels enter administration ahead of 2024 season

Melbourne Rebels joined Super Rugby in 2011
Melbourne Rebels joined Super Rugby in 2011

Rugby Australia has assumed control of the Melbourne Rebels following the club's decision to enter voluntary administration just weeks before the commencement of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

The Rebels have faced persistent financial challenges and are burdened with debts exceeding $A10 million, as reported by the Australian Financial Review.

Rugby Australia (RA) has stated that it is collaborating with the appointed administrator to ensure the club participates in the 2024 season. The CEO of the Melbourne Rebels, Baden Stephenson, expressed the club's strong commitment to meeting its obligations for the upcoming 2024 season though.

"RA is committed to ensuring the Melbourne Rebels play in the 2024 Super Rugby competitions, and we will support their preparation for the new season," RA boss Phil Waugh said in a statement.

"As custodians of the game, we are determined to ensure that RA is making responsible decisions for a sustainable and successful future and we will work with the Rebels and the relevant stakeholders to that end."

The club entered Super Rugby in 2011 but had endured a tough outing as barring the Covid hit 2020 season, they never reached the playoffs and in the last year they finished in the 11th position out of the 12 teams. In recent years, the Victoria state government, with Melbourne as its capital, has provided support to the Rebels by allocating funds to Rugby Australia. In return, this support is linked to Wallabies tests.

Rebels will kick-off the 2024 season with a clash against Brumbies on 23rd February.