The Rebels have appointed three new staff members to their 'On-Field' team, with Sean Hedger as Assistant Coach (Attack), Josh Bird as a Physiotherapist and Alison Garth as Sports Performance Dietician for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Hedger joins the Rebels as an experienced international coach, with a strong background in both professional and community rugby; most recently as National Academy Coach at the Australian Rugby Union.
Hedger began his professional rugby career as Rugby Co-ordinator of REDS Rugby College, before assuming the role of Rugby Programme Head Coach from 2003 to 2005.
In mid 2005, he re-located to Japan, fulfilling multiple coaching roles with Top League team, Kobelco Steelers, over five years. In 2010, he became Assistant Coach of Kyuden Voltex for a season, before accepting the role of Head Coach.
Hedger then returned home to Sydney, where he was appointed as National Academy Head Coach (NSW) at the ARU.
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Tony McGahan, highlighted Hedger's wealth of experience as a great asset to the Rebels Rugby program.
"Sean has had over 10 years coaching experience in professional environments both in Australia and overseas. These experiences are across different organisations, namely Reds, Top League, and the ARU which give him a great grounding for his new role.
"We are striving to grow the game of Rugby Union in Victoria, and Sean's background from a development officer, through academy manager to assistant and Head Coach of different programs allows the Rebels to utilise his experiences in his core role of Attack Coach, but also add value in other parts of the rugby program."
Along with the appointment of Hedger, Josh Bird arrives at the Rebels as Physiotherapist (Rehabilitation Coordinator), and will join Dave Rundle and Paul Percy in Physio duties, but will also have responsibilities in athletic preparation.
Head Physiotherapist at the ARU National Academy for two years, Bird also coordinated physio services for the Australian Men's Sevens team in this year's 2013 Rugby World Cup, and previously worked as Assistant Physiotherapist at the Queensland Reds from 2009 to 2011.
Alison Garth joins the Rebels with a variety of experience across codes, including cricket, tennis and rugby. Garth has been a major contributor to Australian Institute of Sport in its Sports nutrition research program, providing service for many Olympic Sports, including men's basketball and football.
"We are really pleased with the direction our On Field team is taking in the lead up to 2014. There is an exciting year ahead for Rugby Union in Melbourne," said McGahan.