Australia internationals Will Genia and Quade Cooper will leave the Rebels for second-tier Japanese side Kintetsu Liners.
Genia is not expected to link up with his new team-mates until after the Rugby World Cup in Japan, though Cooper could move sooner having been omitted from the Wallabies squad for their Rugby Championship opener against South Africa.
The duo have joined other high-profile players like Kieran Read, Duane Vermeulen and Brodie Retallick in agreeing moves to the Asian nation.
“I am very much looking forward to joining Kintetsu Liners. I want to play right away as part of a team with a long history and tradition,” Genia said in a club statement.
“My goal is to do my best for the club and to help Kintetsu Liners become the best rugby team in Japan. It is a great honour to be able to contribute to this team.”
Following two seasons and 22 matches for Melbourne, scrum half Will Genia will continue his rugby career at the Kintetsu Liners. Thank you for everything you’ve done to grow the game in Victoria Will and we can’t wait to cheer you on as a Wallaby in Japan!#AlwaysARebel pic.twitter.com/Z9IkfysTET
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) July 11, 2019
Cooper added: “I will work hard to help the team achieve its goal of returning to the Top League. In addition, I will do my best to be able to contribute more when we get there.
“I want to challenge rugby in Japan and I can still contribute on the pitch. I appreciate this opportunity.”
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