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'The future's looking bright': Melbourne Rebels sign Fiji assistant coach

By AAP
(Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Fresh off last weekend’s historic win over England at Twickenham, Fiji’s assistant coach Brad Harris has signed to join the Melbourne Rebels.

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Harris will link with the Super Rugby Pacific side as defence guru next season, working under head coach Kevin Foote.

Harris has penned a multi-year deal and will remain with Melbourne Rebels until at least the end of the 2025 season.

Starting his coaching career in Canberra, Harris has spent time with the Georgian national side and the last five years in various roles with Fiji.

He was part of the coaching set-up for the men’s Sevens team who won gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics before moving to the Fijian Drua.

Harris is currently part of Fiji’s World Cup campaign in France, where they will face the Wallabies in a pool game.

Fiji claimed their first-ever win over England in a World Cup warm-up clash last weekend.

The Australians will also face Georgia in their opening clash in Paris.

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Team Form

Last 5 Games

2
Wins
5
1
Streak
5
14
Tries Scored
26
-25
Points Difference
131
2/5
First Try
5/5
3/5
First Points
3/5
2/5
Race To 10 Points
4/5

Melbourne Rebels CEO, Baden Stephenson, was thrilled by Harris’ appointment.

“The Chairman, Board, Nick Stiles, our coaching staff and myself are all delighted to welcome Brad Harris to the Melbourne Rebels at such an exciting time for our Club,” said Stephenson.

“Brad comes to Melbourne carrying a wealth of overseas coaching experience where he’s achieved great success including winning the NRC with the Drua in 2018, claiming Olympic Gold with the Fijian Sevens in 2021 and impressive campaigns with the Fijian Drua and Georgia Rugby Union.

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“The Melbourne Rebels are thrilled and delighted to repatriate a highly skilled and successful Australian Rugby coach back home to Australia.

“Brad’s proven success in developing tough defensive strategies and his ability to cultivate a strong culture of discipline, resilience and hard work aligns perfectly with the environment we’re creating at the Melbourne Rebels and our game model of playing fast, fearless and resolute.

“With a Club record of 19 players selected across our 3 Australian men’s representative teams, world-class player signings, and now Brad Harris’ signature, the future’s looking bright in Melbourne. We can’t wait for the 2024 season to start.”

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Brad Harris said he was grateful for the opportunity to return back to Australian Rugby and join a Club whose vision and values strongly aligned with his own.

“Throughout my discussions with the Rebels, I couldn’t have been more impressed by firstly the quality of people involved and secondly the aligned vision for the Melbourne Rebels,” said Harris.

“This is a team that I have watched closely over the past few seasons. I’ve seen first hand from an opposition perspective, the growth and development of the team.

“They were very unlucky last year, but next season, with the addition of some world-class players to the roster and the invaluable experiences the returning Wallabies will bring to the program, I believe the Club will be in a great position to challenge for finals and higher honours.

“I will be looking to build on that fantastic foundation already in place with the players and team. I am excited to connect with all stakeholders across the club and bring my passion and energy to help drive the club forward towards the forefront of Super Rugby Pacific.

“Melbourne is also a city that I have loved visiting over the past number of seasons and I can’t wait to immerse myself and my family into the culture, lifestyle and community on offer.”

Fijian Drua CEO, Mark Evans, expressed his gratitude for all of Brad’s hard work and success in his time with Fijian Rugby.

“Brad has done an outstanding job at the Drua and previously Fiji Rugby. We are sad to see him go, but completely understand the reasons behind his move. He will always be welcome back on the island and I know many of the players will miss his friendship and coaching skills.”

Quotes courtesy of Melbourne Rebels.

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