Melbourne based Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have signed Fijian international utility back Ben Volavola for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
Volavola was part of the Fijian 2015 Rugby World Cup squad and played for the Waratahs that year and spent the 2016 season with the Crusaders.
The Australian-born Fijian representative joined the Rebels on Friday after 15 Super Rugby games and 21 points with the Waratahs and Crusaders.
The 25-year-old playmaker kicked off his Super Rugby career with the Waratahs in 2013 before he crossed the Tasman to join the Crusaders in 2016 to help fill the void at number 10 with the departure of Dan Carter to Europe.
Volavola, a former Australian U20s representatives at the 2011 Junior World Championship, has made 14 international appearances and scored 56 points for Fiji since his Test debut against the Maori All Blacks in 2015.
Volavola started all four games at fly-half at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which included his maiden international try against the Wallabies during the round-robin phase of the tournament.
“Ben brings a wealth of experience from two successful Super Rugby programs and will provide value to the Melbourne Rebels in his versatility across the backline,” Melbourne Rebels General Manager Rugby Operations Baden Stephenson said.
“He was hungry for another opportunity at this level so we feel that Ben’s talent and drive will be a good fit for the Rebels.”
Volavola said he was excited by the chance to join the Rebels.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my career in Melbourne,” Volavola said.
“I’m excited by the chance to grow my game at a club that has a great record for nurturing and developing elite players under head coach Tony McGahan and I look forward to learning from Morgan Turinui.”
The Melbourne Rebels return to action in February with two trial matches against the Force (6 February) and Reds (14 February), along with the much anticipated Brisbane Global Rugby Tens (11-12 February). The Rebels will kick off the 2017 Super Rugby season against the Blues at AAMI Park on Thursday 23 February.