Melbourne Rebels appoint new CEO

Melbourne Rebels create a Storm

Melbourne Rebels create a Storm


Less than a week after its confirmation as the preferred consortium to run Australia’s new Super 15 franchise, the Melbourne Rebels have announced themselves as serious contenders in naming former Melbourne Storm head-honcho, Brian Waldron, as inaugural CEO.

In what can only been seen as a serious grenade lobbed well and truly into mungo HQ, Waldron will take up the post immediately and the prospect of more leaguies following is now a real possibility.

A Melbourne veteran after stints as CEO of AFL’s St Kilda club and GM of football operations at Richmond AFL club, Waldron has spent the last six years leading the privately owned Storm and will undoubtedly know a few shortcuts to success. Waldron’s decision to leave the NRL’s premiership winning Storm to cross over to rugby is a massive vote of confidence in Big ‘Arold’s new play thing.

Much was made during the week about the Rebels desire to lure top NRL talent to fill their playing roster for next year but it was assumed this wish was nothing more than a gambit to get some press coverage – not anymore.

With Waldron on board there is now the real chance that mungo darlings such as Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater might be serious in crossing-over and have a crack at the game they play in heaven during a World Cup year, rather than the one they play in hell.

As the Rebels need to make every post a winner in order to gain traction in the myopic Melbourne-centric AFL world, no wonder Big ‘Arold was in raptures with his catch.

Of Waldron he said ““His appointment is a vital step toward ensuring our club makes an outstanding permanent contribution to Melbourne’s sporting culture.

“Brian’s talents as an organisational leader and his ability to nurture and operate successful sporting entities at the highest level are well evidenced.”

Waldron himself hinted at the main reason for his decision to cross-over to rugby by confirming his latest gig has a global focus rather than the big-fish-small-pond world of the NRL

“The Rebels will represent Melbourne in the international arena and I am looking forward to working with Harold Mitchell and his team to build a club of which all Victorians and Australian rugby supporters will be proud.”

Perhaps a plaudit, but the sentiment should not be lost on those league players who are on the wrong side of the ledger looking to step into the light and play rugby.

The Rebels have planted a major flag in the Australian sporting landscape already and being Rebels by name, one can only imagine they will be Rebels by nature.

Let the mungo baiting begin…

  • A big statement of intent from big ‘Arold. Like it.

    Who’s the coach though? Big Rod will have a spot in all our hearts, but the future’s gotta be with Mick Cheika?

    • im going macqueen for director of coaching and development and cheika as actual head coach, that would be a match made in heaven.

    • I could live with that but reports in the Herald have Connolly linked to it.

      Then again, same happened with the Reds gig.

      • Juan Cote

        Why not Bill Millard the only coach the Rebels have ever had?

      • Sandpit Fan

        Can’t see Knuckles getting a crack somehow… I think they will look to the future.

        • Gumby

          Sky announced Macqueen as coach this morning. A big coup that one.

        • Patrick

          And surely we have found our first prop?

          The threat to have South African loosehead prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira deported still looms large according to reports on Tuesday.
          It is still the insidious voice of National Assembly sports committee chairman Butana Komphela calling for the move, insisting that only “bona fide” people should represent South Africa in its national teams – not foreign players.

  • Ben

    Considering an NRL player probably has 5-8 years at most to make retirement money…..the move to Union for only the best leagies should be standard. Gasnier, Slater and Ingilis….welcome to Melbourne and then sayonara.

    The beta between a Union player and League player in total earnings will be too much to ignor for the best Mungos. The number would be several million dollars by the time he hangs it up.

    Having the league players in Melbourne gets around all the whining by the establishment in NSW and QLD about home grown talent etc.

    • Gumby

      Don’t be in such a rush for the Leaguies. We’ve done that before and its blown up in our face.

      Got no probs with Gaz as he has paid his dues in France and when he crossed he had his head together without his ego being out of control.

      If the others want to come across make sure their payments are performance based.

  • Patrick


    Now to bring back Folau and let’s get Inglis too :)

  • Calexico

    According to the Canberra Times they tried to steal Andrew Fagan from the Brumbies first but he declined – bastards!

  • wilful

    The big issue for the Rebels is going to be getting the media on side. Currently The Age (the only quality paper) is doing piss-poorly at covering the Rebels, which fits with its Union coverage generally. We get the odd greg growden SMH reprint and that’s about it – and is he the worst professional rugby commentator in Australia?

    Thank god for GnGR to keep me informed.

  • happy hooker

    Cheika is the man (or Louden- or both!). Both have coached Sydney Grade at Randwick and Louden was also at Syd Uni and has coached schoolboy level so knows the ropes . Moreover, surely Chek would be able to lure some Northern Hemisphere players that are keen to test themselves in S14?

    Macqueen as “Rugby Director” would also be great. Read his Biography on how instrumental he was in the Brumbies early successes and you get a feel for the type of guy he is – and why he’s successful in whatever he does.

    Bring in Gaz, some Kiwi non AB’s, some Internationals and Islanders – leave the Leaguies to themselves, we finally got rid of the last couple to the benefit of the game! Not like you need them for media hype in Melbourne….only bloke that would be worth it would be Gary Ablett – but that is untried waters, for now!

  • PJ

    I wonder if Hoppa is eligible?

  • Paul

    Gawd I’m loving it already :) First Waldron, then Macqueen and Hill, but the sky’s the limit! From my experience as a highschool teacher there’s a lot of talent on offer down here. With a good culture and proper pathways, there’ll be Victorians in Rebel colours soon enough. On the media coverage… rather strangely, the Herald Sun website is giving them HEAPS of coverage ( and they’re the official paper of the AFL)


Mr Consistently Average

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