The Rebels have bolstered their forward stocks with the signing of Chiefs front rower Toby Smith until the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
The Australian born prop made the tough call to leave the current Super Rugby Champions, following some outstanding performances for the Chiefs this season and Waikato during the ITM Cup in 2012.
General Manager of Rugby, Sam Cordingley, was thrilled to have signed the talented loose head prop, attributing his winning attitude as being one of his greatest strengths.
We are very pleased to have Toby Smith on board, said Cordingley.
To have a championship player like Toby committing to the Rebels is great sign of where this young organisation is heading.
We are already seeing the fruits of some of our young players developing from this Rebels rugby program. At 24, Toby brings with him not only a great deal of experience at young age, but also some impressive form from this Super Rugby season and last season's ITM Cup.
Smith spoke of his fond memories of his time at the Waikato franchise, but also the new opportunities that lay ahead in Australia's sporting capital.
I have been very fortunate to have been involved in such a fantastic Rugby program, said Smith.
During the last four years playing for the Chiefs and Waikato I have been lucky enough to be coached by some fantastic coaches and play alongside some world class players who have all helped with my development and it was a very tough decision to make the move to Australia.
I am looking forward to moving to Melbourne, it's a great city and from what I can the see the Rebels are building a very competitive rugby team, with a good mix of youth and experience. To be part of that will be fantastic.
I am also looking forward to pressing my claims toward playing test Rugby in the future and taking advantage of my Australian eligibility.
Although Australian born, Smith was a member of the Zealand Under 20 side, winning the 2008 Under 20 Junior World Championship.