Rugby Australia has pledged to provide support for the Melbourne Rebels until 2024, as the club goes into voluntary administration.
Rugby Australia is working with the debt-ridden Melbourne Rebels to ensure they field a team in this year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition but has offered no guarantees beyond that.
On Monday evening, Melbourne officially declared voluntary administration, despite the season starting in less than a month.
The organization in charge of overseeing rugby in Victoria stated their continued dedication, but did not provide any hints about potential changes.
RA stated that it will prioritize creating a sustainable and commercially successful professional rugby presence in Melbourne.
The head of RA, Phil Waugh, stated that the main office will collaborate with the designated administrator to ensure that the Melbourne teams participate in this year’s Super competitions for both men and women.
According to a statement from Waugh, RA is dedicated to ensuring that the Melbourne Rebels participate in the 2024 Super Rugby tournaments and will provide assistance with their preparations for the upcoming season.
“As caretakers of the sport, it is our goal to guarantee that RA is making responsible choices for a long-lasting and prosperous future. We will collaborate with the Rebels and other involved parties to achieve this.”
The upcoming Super Round of Super Rugby Pacific, scheduled for March 1-3 at AAMI Park in Melbourne, will not be affected by the challenges faced by the Rebels.
According to Waugh, the state government of Victoria will participate in discussions regarding the club’s future. It is reported that the club has a debt of $9 million.
Last Thursday, leaders of the Rebels organization sought assistance from the insolvency firm Wexted Advisors. The board convened over the weekend to discuss options for avoiding administration.
In 2017, the state government provided financial assistance to the Rebels and made a deal with RA to secure hosting rights for the Bledisloe Cup and British and Irish Lions Test matches in Melbourne.
Waugh stated that the Victorian government has been a strong and important advocate for both professional and community rugby for a considerable amount of time.
Our main goal is to collaborate with the Victorian government and its primary organizations to secure the Rebels’ involvement in the 2024 Super Rugby season and the ongoing presence of professional rugby in the state.