20 Jul 2015

Former All Black signs with Rebels

3:33 pm on 20 July 2015

The former All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson has signed with the Melbourne Rebels for next year's Super rugby season.

The world cup winning All Black played for the Queensland Reds this year.

Thomson brings a wealth of experience to Melbourne, having made 83 Super Rugby appearances for the Highlanders and Reds as well as winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks during his 29 tests.

Thomson will replace the Rebels co-captain Scott Higginbotham who's left the fracnhise.

Capable of playing anywhere in the loose forwards, Thomson played alongside compatriot Tamati Ellison for both the Highlanders and All Blacks, while he worked with Rebels' Assistant Coach Zane Hilton during their time together at Canon Eagles in Japan's Top League.

Rebels' Head Coach Tony McGahan said he was delighted to be able to add a player of Thomson's pedigree to his squad.

Adam Thomson on the burst in Dunedin for the Queensland Reds against his former New Zealand side the Highlanders.

Adam Thomson on the burst in Dunedin for the Queensland Reds against his former New Zealand side the Highlanders. Photo: Photosport

"Adam will bring a great deal of experience, ability and dynamism to our squad," McGahan said.

"He has proven himself to be one of the top loose forwards in the Southern Hemisphere over a sustained period, and he'll add a lot to our Rugby program when he arrives in Melbourne."

Thomson said he's lloking forward to joining a young team on the rise.

"At this stage of my career, I wanted to continue to play Rugby at a high level and it was important to be in an environment that best fits my needs, that I feel can get the best out of me and where I believe I can contribute the most," Thomson explained.

"Having played against the Rebels for a number of years, I've seen some real development; the style they play and the direction the Club's heading is exciting. I think my game will fit well with the Rebels and allow me to play some quality football, which I am still very much driven to do."

Thomson said that the opportunity to work underneath McGahan and Hilton, and alongside Ellison, was a driving factor in his decision to sign with the Rebels.

"While moving to the Rebels wasn't a decision I took lightly, I can't wait to work with Tony and Zane," he said.

"I have only met Tony briefly, but already I like his style and the direction he wants to take the team, while Zane and I know each other well. We have good banter and get the best out of each other, which is an exciting dynamic to work within again.

"I've heard nothing but positive reports about the Rebels and I'm excited to be a part of it. Tamati can't speak highly enough about the Club, but he also said he needed some support in keeping the Aussie boys in line!"