The Melbourne Rebels have added twenty-year-old scrumhalf Jock Merriman to their Super Rugby squad on a supplementary contract as cover for Nic Stirzaker who is set to miss six weeks with an ankle injury.
Merriman will be in competition for the Rebels number nine jersey with Luke Burgess and Ben Meehan.
Merriman, a former Australian U20s representative and Australia A Schoolboys captain, has been a member of the Australian Rugby Union's National Academy for the last two seasons.
"I am very excited to be down here," Merriman said. "There are a few familiar faces here from Sydney University, such as Sam Jeffries, and I'll be staying with him and Alex Rokobaro initially before I move in with a Rebels Board Member; they'll be able to show me the ropes around Melbourne.
Merriman is familiar with Rebels' Assistant Coach Sean Hedger, having worked with him at the National Academy, and is looking forward to again linking up with him.
"I got to know Sean well in Sydney last year, and also had a few sessions with Tony McGahan when he helped us out, so it will be good to be coached by them again. Sean called and said Nic was going to have a stint on the sidelines, so obviously I jumped at the opportunity (to come down)."
Merriman is not expecting to make his Super Rugby debut whilst in Melbourne, however sees plenty of positives in the opportunity presented to him.
"Coming down here was a little unexpected, but I have come with the goal in mind of becoming a better player," he says.
"It would be a bit eager of me to expect to play any Super Rugby, but if that chance came then I would definitely try and make the most of it."
Merriman meets up with the squad immediately, and will join locals Martin Naufahu and Joe Kamana in training with the Rebels.
Wing Kamana impressed while playing the first half in the Club's trial win against the Waratahs in Albury, as well as featuring in the matchday squad against the Hurricanes in Geelong, while Naufahu was in the Albury matchday squad.
2013 Australian Schoolboys representative Fereti Sa'aga is also combining his training duties between the Rebels and the Victorian U20s squad, while trialist hooker Steve Faulau remains with the Club as an injury replacement for Tom Sexton who was ruled out for the 2014 Super Rugby Season with a new injury.
Steve plays for the West Harbour Club in Sydney.