Breakout star Andrew Kellaway re-signs with Rugby Australia
Winless from three rounds, the Rebels are looking to breathe life into their season when they host the Brumbies on Friday night at AAMI Park, with Kellaway recovering from a foot stress fracture to play.
In last year’s Super Rugby AU, the Rebels scored the fewest tries of the Australian teams and were unable to maximise the talents of Kellaway and test flyer Marika Koroibete.
From three matches this season they have scored five tries to also rank last but Kellaway, who has signed with Australian rugby until the end of 2024, says they’re on the right path.
“We haven’t played the way we would have liked to play and I think Ryan Martin is a world-class attack coach,” the 26-year-old said on Thursday.
“I’ve been pretty lucky, I’ve played in a few countries under a few coaches and Ryan is up there so I’ve got no issues with the way we’re trying to play.
“I have issues with the way we’re currently playing and I think everyone does, so if we can do what we say we’re going to do and do what we plan to do there will be tries aplenty.
“It was a really easy decision for me to stay.”
Heading overseas when his career stalled with the Waratahs, Kellaway said he felt he owed the Rebels.
They initially signed him in 2020 and then again last year after a short stint playing in Japan.
“Melbourne threw me a lifeline when nobody else would and that’s a debt that I don’t think I’ve quite repaid yet,” he said.
“Another three years gives me a chance to hopefully go close to doing that and again added to that the chance to play one more test is more than enough reason to stay so I’m super excited.”
Kellaway had a breakout Wallabies season last year, making his debut against France in July and was selected in all but one of the Wallabies’ 14 tests.
As well as winning Rugby Australia’s rookie-of-the-year award, he was nominated for 2021 World Rugby breakthrough player of the year.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was happy to have Kellaway commit, particularly after losing winger Koroibete to Japanese rugby.
“Andrew’s a top man and a mature rugby player who has quickly become an important member of our mob on and off the field,” Rennie said.
“We all saw the impact he was able to have in his first year at test level and his work ethic and professionalism will ensure he continues to put himself in the best position to do that moving forward.”
The Rebels have historically matched up well against the Brumbies, who are unbeaten in three rounds.
“I think I’ve beaten the Brumbies at the Rebels more times than I did with the Waratahs,” Kellaway said.
“By the same token the Brumbies have been the benchmark for the Australian teams for a while now so if we can’t get up for this we might as well pack a bag and go home.”
– Melissa Woods
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