MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Western Force coach Dave Wessels has joined the Melbourne Rebels less than a month after the Perth-based side was cut from Super Rugby.
The Force were officially dumped from Super Rugby on Sept. 5 following a protracted battle with the Australian Rugby Union after SANZAAR members agreed to ditch three teams from the competition for 2018.
Two South African sides, the Cheetahs and Kings, have already joined an expanded Pro14 competition in Europe.
A club official told Reuters on Friday the 34-year-old Wessels had joined the team.
A report on the ARU’s website also said he was joining the Melbourne-based side until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.
“I‘m very grateful to everyone at the Rebels and within Australian rugby for helping make this move possible,” Wessels told the rugby.com.au website.
”For me, the decision was driven by a strong feeling of unfinished business in Super Rugby.
“Make no mistake, our goal is to win Super Rugby.”
The Rebels were the worst-performing Australian side in Super Rugby this season, winning one game and suffering several losses where the opposition scored more than 50 points.
Tony McGahan ended his four-year tenure with the Rebels at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season.
Reporting by Ian Ransom, Writing by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ken Ferris