Home » Cash-strapped Melbourne Rebels to miss 2025 Super Rugby season after Rugby Australia announcement

Cash-strapped Melbourne Rebels to miss 2025 Super Rugby season after Rugby Australia announcement

The Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby side has been told by Rugby Australia it will not compete in Super Rugby Pacific in the 2025 season.

A statement from Rugby Australia (RA) said the application from the consortium hoping to take over the Rebels to participate in next year’s competition was unsuccessful and “did not demonstrate sufficient financial viability”.

“Since the Rebels’ inaugural year in 2011, [the club] has not been independently financially sustainable despite significant additional investment by RA over and above committed club grant,” the statement from RA read. 

“There is nothing in the consortium’s proposal which demonstrates with sufficient certainty that this will change.”

The news comes as the club, currently seventh on the ladder, are preparing for their first finals campaign in 14 years in the competition.

Rebels and Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou posted on social media that he was heartbroken by the news.

Melbourne have been in voluntary administration since January with debts owed to creditors exceeding $23 million including an $11.5 million debt to the tax office.

RA cut staff and took over player and coaching payments for the season, with the Rebels handing over their competition licence.

The Rebels are expected to fight for their club’s future.(Getty Images: Asanka Ratnayake)

A private consortium put forward a plan to fund the club until 2030, which was supported by the administrator but RA and the ATO voted against the deal at the creditors’ meeting.

But it was contingent on RA handing back the licence which they have chosen not to do.

RA said that as the identity of the consortium members had not been disclosed to them, it could not fully assess their credentials.

“RA does not take this decision lightly, however it must act in the best interests of the game and its stakeholders, and to provide certainty for the Rebels’ players and staff, and all Super Rugby clubs in planning for the 2025 Super Rugby Pacific season,” the statement read.

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