Rebels sign Gillespie for 2015 Super Rugby season


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Melbourne Super Rugby side the Rebels have signed loosehead prop Jed Gillespie
to their Extended Playing Squad (EPS) for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Gillespie, who represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2010 alongside fellow
Rebel Steve Cummins, attended The King ‘s School in Sydney and joins the
Club from Eastwood in Sydney ‘s Shute Shield competition on the back of
a Premiership campaign alongside Cummins.

22 year old Gillespie represented the Greater Sydney Rams in all eight games
of their Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) campaign, learning from
Wallaby loosehead prop Benn Robinson, and he is renowned for his strong work
in the set piece and love of carrying the ball.

Gillespie has spent the entire pre-season training with the Rebels as part
of a Rebels Development Squad (RDS), and his work ethic and coachability have
impressed Rebels ‘ Head Coach Tony McGahan.

“Jed was given the opportunity to join us for pre-season with a view
to securing a contract, and he has certainly delivered in the major focus areas
set out for himself,” McGahan said. “He adds value to our program
through his desire to improve and to succeed, and we ‘re confident that
the coaches can add the technical elements Jed will need to contribute strongly
to our Rugby program here in Melbourne.”

For Gillespie, signing a first professional contract represents an opportunity
to step up to the next level.

“I ‘m very, very excited to join the Rebels; I have been around Club
Rugby for a little while, and I ‘m pleased to get a shot to step up into professional
Rugby,” he said.

“I was given the great opportunity to come down and train, and to then
translate that training into a contract is fantastic.”

Jed is under no illusions that Super Rugby is the toughest provincial competition
in the world, and that he will need to continue to improve if he is to have
an impact.

“Playing for the Rams was good; the NRC was faster, and more intense,
than Club Rugby and I got to test myself against some very good professional
players. I ‘m now looking forward to stepping up again to Super Rugby if
I get the opportunity this year. I would love to get on the field and play some
games; I want to add to the team and help out wherever I can, and if that means
game time against the best in the world it would be great.”

Jed has already benefitted from pre-season with his new teammates, feeling
well and truly settled in, and he is taking advantage of learning from two-time
Super Rugby winning loosehead prop Toby Smith.

“Going through the grind of pre-season with the rest of the boys helps
you fit in, and become part of the team quicker,” he said. “Toby
(Smith) is somebody who I watch carefully in training and follow his techniques,
and he is always keen to have a chat and help me out wherever possible. I ‘m
really happy with how everything has started off for me in Melbourne.”

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