Kevin Foote will take over as interim head coach of the Rebels for the trans-Tasman Super Rugby season.
Kevin Foote will take over as interim head coach of the Melbourne Rebels for the trans-Tasman Super Rugby season to replace Dave Wessels.
The Rebels issued a statement on Tuesday announcing Foote would be elevated from his role as assistant coach.
Wessels quit as head coach last week after the Rebels finished out of the Super Rugby AU playoffs with a record of three wins and five losses.
Melbourne will host the Blues on May 15 in the first match for both clubs in the new trans-Tasman tournament.
“It’s a great honour and privilege,” Foote said.
“I have big shoes to fill in following Dave’s departure and want to thank him for all his support, leadership and friendship over our years working together and look forward to building on the strong platform he has left at the club.
“We have a big job ahead of ourselves with the trans-Tasman series starting in just two weeks and I am excited to work with the team and our staff to ensure we are ready to go come our first game against the Blues.”
The South Africa-born Foote, who has been at the club for three seasons, will retain his duties as defence coach.
READ MORE: Cheika blows up after game turning red card
READ MORE: Brumbies bolt into Super Rugby grand final
READ MORE: Crusaders sign controversial Pumas captain
“He is well respected and has a great relationship with the playing group and other staff,” Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson said
“The board and management see this appointment as a natural progression in his time at the club and look forward to seeing him take on the new role with the high energy and professionalism that he is known for.”
Coaching staff from the national team will also work with the Rebels for the remainder of the season after the departure of Shaun Berne as attack coach.
“Shaun is a great rugby man and we are forever grateful for his contribution to our club both on and off the field over the last four years,” Stephenson said.
“During his time at the club, he helped us reach our first finals, and was also called into the Wallabies staff for the 2019 Rugby World Cup which was a terrific acknowledgement and reward for his experience and hard work at the Melbourne Rebels and throughout his coaching career.
“We wish him all the best for his next challenge and thank him for his commitment to the Rebels.”
Former England lock Geoff Parling remains as forwards coach while Will Markwick will continue as head of performance.
The Rebels also said they would be making “some high profile player retention signings in the next few weeks” with five-eighth Matt To’omua expected to re-sign.