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Member of the Order of Australia (AM) - Australia Day 2012

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Melbourne Rebels History

On 5 January 2010, the Melbourne Rebels were endorsed by the Australian Rugby Union as the fifth domestic licence holder in an expanded Super Rugby competition from 2011 as a strategic initiative aimed at growing the game’s national footprint and profile.
Super Rugby offers unprecedented opportunity for the game to leave an indelible impact on the Australian sporting landscape and for Melbourne Rebels to be the first winter football code in Victoria to be part of a regular and renowned international competition.
Melbourne Rebels is part of a revamped three-Conference format that will drive a greater sense of interstate tribalism while also maintaining the unique international flavour provided by the inclusion of teams from South Africa and New Zealand.
The inclusion of Melbourne to Super Rugby followed an exhaustive application process with 7 Australian Expressions of Interest initially received, including those from Western Sydney, NSW Country, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. ARU endorsed Melbourne as its preferred contender, with SANZAR left to decide between the Australian candidate and the Southern Kings of South Africa.
SANZAR appointed an arbitration panel to decide between the bids lodged by the ARU on behalf of Melbourne and the South African Rugby Union on behalf of the Southern Kings and the Committee decided the optimal location for a 15th team in Super Rugby was Melbourne.
Throughout the process, the Victorian Rugby Union and Melbourne Rebels enjoyed unflinching support from the Sports Minister, James Merlino and the Victorian Government and Melbourne’s passionate Rugby Union fans.