Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have signed Australian Sevens star Henry Hutchison for the 2018 and 2019 Super Rugby seasons.
The Rebels are under threat for losing their position in Super Rugby but are pressing forward and signing players for next season.
Hutchison’s contract comes off the back of a meteoric rise on the International Sevens stage which saw him awarded the 2016 World Rugby Sevens Rookie of the Year and earn Australian selection for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The 20-year-old has taken the Sevens circuit by storm with 52 tries – 260 points – in 91 matches since his debut at the Cape Town Sevens in South Africa in December 2015.
Hutchison finished the 2016/17 Sevens season as Australia’s leading try scorer with 25 and second leading points scorer (125) behind the country’s most prolific Sevens points scorer ever James Stannard.
“Henry’s a world class athlete that has successfully performed on rugby’s biggest stages and proven that he’s a consistent try scorer with elite speed,” Melbourne Rebels Chief Executive Officer Baden Stephenson said.
“He’s got a great desire to learn and dominate the 15-man code like he’s done in the Sevens format so we look forward to him joining the club and having an impact with the Melbourne Rebels in 2018.”
The Randwick product represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2013 and Australian U20s before his fulltime switch to Sevens Rugby in 2015 for Australia’s Rio 2016 Oceania qualifiers.
The speedy winger made his return to the 15-man code with selection in the Australian U20s squad currently over in Gerogia for the 2017 World Rugby U20s Championship, where he has been producing solid performances with tries in the first two pool games.
“I’m excited to live out my childhood dream of playing Super Rugby in the city of Melbourne with a sporting culture that is second to none” Hutchinson said.
“I played all my secondary school rugby in Melbourne so its great to get back down to Melbourne and represent the state in Super Rugby
“The Rebels have shown me they have a clear direction for my role in the squad which gives me confidence as I move out of home to live independently down here.
“Seeing the Club successfully transition players like Sean McMahon, Tom English and Pama Fou from the Sevens program, shows they rate that skill set and can provide me support as I continue to develop my 15 man game.”
Hutchison’s signing continues the Rebels exciting recruitment following the announcement of former England international and British Lions representative Geoff Parling.
The Melbourne Rebels return to action on Friday 7 July against the Western Force at nib Stadium in Perth following June’s international Test break.