You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Defiant Melbourne Rebels appoint Super CEO

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/06/2017 Matt Coughlan

Under-threat Super Rugby outfit the Melbourne Rebels have appointed Baden Stephenson as chief executive despite the axe hanging above the club.

While either Rebels or the Western Force are set to be wound up by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) at the end of the season, the Melbourne franchise is defiantly pushing ahead with plans for the future.

The club said Stephenson's appointment was the first of a number of changes and announcements which will be made to position the club for next year's Super Rugby season.

Stephenson joined the Rebels in 2014 as the Rebels' general manager of football operations having spent four years with the Sydney University Rugby Club.

It's the first time the club has had a chief executive since managing director and owner Andrew Cox bought the Rebels in 2015.

Stephenson will now be responsible for the day-to-day management of the club including recruitment and operations.

"Baden was integral to establishing a stable football department after the club's initial seasons were plagued by significant turnover of players, coaches and administrators so his experience and knowledge of Victorian rugby will be key to our future," Cox said in a statement.

"After the most challenging year in which the club's future was negligently brought into question, Baden will be responsible for consolidating our operations and lead the Melbourne Rebels into a new successful era."

Stephenson said he was honoured to take the job.

"While there is plenty of hard work ahead, the club has some great people and foundations in place and I really look forward to leading the club into the future," Stephenson said.

The ARU will hold an extraordinary general meeting on June 20 to thrash out the on-going Super Rugby saga which has hung over the game since the announcement one of Australia's five teams would be cut from the competition from next year.

Last month the Rebels and the ARU ruled out the governing body buying the licence from Cox in a bid to wind up the club.

The Rebels have won just one game for the season and were on the end of a 32-3 drubbing by the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon