The Rebels have re-signed defence coach Craig McGrath until 2018, the club announced on Wednesday.
McGrath has been a part of the Rebels setup as a development coach since 2014, steering the U20s Rebels to a Super U20s final this season.
That development role is one that he will maintain moving forward, but with the added responsibility of defence in 2017
Before coming to Melbourne, the former Maori All Blacks representative had playing stints with the Auckland Blues, England’s Coventry, Italy’s Viadana and Ireland’s Boyne.
“It’s pleasing for me and my family because we love Melbourne and we’re excited about what lies ahead for us here,” he said.
“I continue to learn a lot off Tony (McGahan), particular in defence as he’s been doing that since 2014, so as much as I’m teaching the boys I’m learning myself off the fellow coaching group which is a great experience.
“I’m excited to still be working with the Rebels U20s, we’ve got some great talent in Victoria and I’m really enjoying working with the boys and shaping them to be the next professional players coming through the Rebels program.”
Rebels rugby operations general manager Baden Stephenson said McGrath had played a major role in bringing through some Victorian talent.
“Craig’s been a key member of the coaching staff so we’re pleased that he will continue to play a significant role at a Super Rugby level and in the development of our next generation,” he said.
“A club record of six Victorian contracted players for 2017 is a great reflection of Craig’s work with the development of local home grown players through the Rebels U20s and Melbourne Rising pathway programs.”