The RaboDirect Rebels have appointed four senior former Wallabies and foundation Rebels players to their off field staff for 2013, in a move that ensures continuity of the culture established by the foundation Rebels playing group and that guarantees Victorian Rugby will be a force for many years to come.
Stirling Mortlock, Adam Freier, Sam Cordingly and Al Campbell will all join the club's off-field ranks in 2013.
Mortlock, the former Wallaby and Rebels Captain, will play a role with the Rebels coaching staff, as well as having an active role in the club's commercial team.
"I am really excited about staying involved at the RaboDirect Rebels next season," said Mortlock.
"It will give me the opportunity to stay connected with the on field team, assisting the coaching staff and players. The role also enables me to be part of the longevity of Rugby here in Victoria, helping out in the marketing side of the club."
RaboDirect Rebels CEO Steve Boland is extremely pleased that the former players have chosen to remain in Melbourne, and contributes a lot of the club's early success to its foundation players.
"We are a young club very conscious of respecting our early history," said Boland.
"When we recruited our foundation playing group, recruiting players that would strongly contribute to the establishment of our club's culture, was very much at the front of our mind.
"It is fantastic for the club that Sam, Al, Adam and our foundation captain Stirling have chosen to remain so strongly involved with our club post their retirement from playing. It is a great endorsement of how well our group has embraced living in Melbourne.
"It is also very gratifying that our recently retired players will have a strong involvement in passing on the wonderful culture that they have established to the new members of our playing group."
General Manger, Marketing and Commercial Operations, Christine Finnegan, understands the importance of having players like Stirling, remain in Melbourne and continue to be ambassadors of the game.
"There is no doubt Stirling brings a wealth of knowledge to this club," said Finnegan.
"He is not only a great role model for the Victorian Rugby Union community, but he is also a great ambassador for the game in this country, in fact world rugby.
"We are thrilled that he will be integrated into our team, playing an active role across all commercial areas with a particular emphasis on our members and sponsors."
Sam Cordingly's recruitment role from 2011 has been elevated to Head of Player Recruitment, where he will be responsible for player recruitment and retention as well as nurturing the young talent in the Rebel Rising and Rebels Apprenticeship programs.
"It’s great to have Adam, Al and Stirling on board," said Cordingley.
"The Crusaders have done it well over the years, and I'm hoping we can build a club dynamic as strong as they have done. It's an exciting list for 2013 and beyond, with a mix of world class players and enthusiastic young men. It will be a great opportunity for many players to push for Super Rugby honours."
Al Campbell will be heading up the Rebels Player Mentoring Program on a part-time basis, which is a direct conduit between the players and an extended network of business men and women throughout Melbourne. This group provides players with direct access into the business community, including study and work experience.
Campbell was a big driver of the program as a player and will continue to be, after announcing his retirement from rugby this season.
"My family and I are very settled in Melbourne and we are not intending to leave anytime soon," the father of three said.
"The opportunity came up to take on a role I am passionate about. The Mentoring Program provides players with a unique opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of our wider Melbourne Rugby community. We have been overwhelmed with the amount of men and women wanting to help our players and staff, in their lives outside of Rugby."
Adam Freier has been appointed the club's General Manager of Communications and Media, clearly an area he has shown a great interest in and aptitude towards since arriving at the club. Having played an active role in the media and playing over 100 Super Rugby games since 1999, Adam has an extremely good understanding of the game and how the media dynamic works.
"Melbourne is home now. I have been extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to continue my involvement with a club I love, and in a field I am a passionate about. There are so many great things happening in this sport," said Freier.
"The Melbourne sporting landscape is fascinating. From my first two years in Melbourne, I have developed the belief that the Rugby community here is an untapped group of passionate Rugby people, from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe.
"This next 12 months at the Rebels will be the biggest in Victorian Rugby Union history. We have our strongest Super Rugby Squad to date, we have a new Dewar Shield champion and the Rebels get the chance to play The British & Irish Lions here in front of our home crowd."
Stirling Mortlock - Club Ambassador
Adam Freier - General Manager, Communication and Media
Alistair Campbell - Player Mentoring Program
Sam Cordingley - Head of Player Recruitment
There is no rest for the new off-field recruits with Stirling Mortlock blogging LIVE online from 1-2pm next Wednesday (October 17) to talk all things rugby and answer any of your membership queries. To find out where the chat will take place and set yourself a reminder, go to http://www.melbournerebels.com.au/Fans/ChatLive.aspx.
There has been special interest in the 2013 Rebels memberships which went on sale on Monday, with all members who sign up prior to October 31 gaining access to the exclusive member pre-sale window for both The British & Irish Lions Test and Tour matches in Melbourne.
Go to www.melbournerebelsmembership.com.au for all information regarding 2013 memberships.