Rebels win battle for future Wallaby
JACK MADDOCKS had never set foot in Melbourne before he signed his maiden two-year deal with the Rebels.
But the 21-year-old backline star has done enough digging in his two seasons to find the gold he needed and has declared his allegiance to the club, and the city.
Maddocks, touted as a potential long-term number 10 for the Wallabies, has inked a new two-year deal, rebuffing other interested clubs confident his upward trajectory can continue in Melbourne.
"The longer I spend in Melbourne the more it feels like home," Maddocks, who was also a talented junior cricketer, told the Herald Sun.
"When I first came down I wasn't educated about what Melbourne is like. I'd never set foot in Melbourne. I signed my papers in Manchester (with the Australian Under 20s). It wasn't what I expected.
"But I think Melbourne is a city where the more you dig, the more you find, and I am really loving that at the moment.
"The club is progressing really well, they are building a world class environment, and everyone wants to be here."
This season has not been all plain sailing for the Rebels, or Maddocks, who said he had to get a "bit more cultured" after suffering food poisoning in South Africa when he ate at an Ethiopian restaurant.
Four straight wins to start the season were almost undone by five losses in a row too before the Rebels, carrying pre-season expectations of success, found their way back to the winners list last start against the Brumbies.
"The path to success is never a straight line," he said.
"It's going to up and down. As long as we progressing more up than down, and I feel like that is the way we are going."
Maddocks sought out a chat with coach Dave Wessels to work out what his future might look like in the Melbourne line-up too, with that move to fly-half a suggestion from Wallabies coaches.
He got the answers he needed and a aided by a strong connection to the ambitious Rebels coach, Maddocks was confident he could achieve his career goals form Melbourne.
"I didn't know a lot about Dave when he first came in, but I like what he is about. He's like me, he's young and ambitious, and he views the game in a similar way to me," Maddocks said.
"The future of the team, I could make my own judgment about that, but it was more about what he sees from me, and how I fit in to his plans, and it all sounded pretty good."
Four Wallabies will return for the Rebels in Friday's clash against the Sunwolves at AAMI Park. Dane Haylett-Petty, Sefa Naivalu, Ben Daley and Jordan Uelese were all included, with Reece Hodge, another Wallaby, named at number 10.
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