Luke Burgess comes into the Melbourne Rebels team in 2014 as a full-time player, and he brings with him a wealth of experience and quality to aid our youthful squad.
The man from Newcastle began his career at the Brumbies in 2003, but only played two games in five years due to then-Wallabies captain George Gregan occupying the no.9 position. In 2008, Burgess moved to the Waratahs and enjoyed a four year spell there, where he played 56 games and rose to prominence as a fine scrumhalf.
His good form and success on the park meant Burgess became a mainstay in the Wallabies team for several years, and earned 37 caps with the national side through a four year period. He was selected in the Australian squad to play in the 2011 Rugby World Cup where the Aussies went on to finish third.
The latter years of his Wallabies career were hindered by the rise of Will Genia as a world-class scrumhalf, and eventually in 2011 Burgess left Australia to ply his trade in the French Top 14 competition with Stade Toulousain. He played 54 games in three years in France.
Burgess returned to Australian shores in 2013 to join the Rebels as a short-term player in the Super Rugby competition. With the departure of Nick Phipps to the Waratahs in the off-season, Burgess has been upgraded to a full-time Rebel for 2014 and is set to start as the first choice no.9. Deputising alongside him will be the speedy Nic Stirzaker, who is sure to gain a lot of wisdom from the former Wallaby.
As one of only several “older” players expected to be a first-team starter for the Rebels this season, can Luke Burgess emulate his form from several years ago with Melbourne, and how crucial will his experience in the halves be if the Rebels are to enjoy a successful season?