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Delve named top Rebel


Stathi Paxinos

Gareth Delve of the Rebels.

Gareth Delve of the Rebels. Photo: Getty Images

GARETH Delve has won the Melbourne Rebels top award at the club's end-of-season presentation lunch today.
Delve has been outstanding throughout the club's two season's of existence and was inspirational as he lead the Rebels through most of this year with skipper Stirling Mortlock sidelined by a calf injury.

The 29-year-old former Welsh international, who recently went back on his plans to play in France to extend his contract with the Rebels for next season, said he had enjoyed every moment of his move to Melbourne.

"It's a fantastic honour. I can't really put into words what this team has meant to me over the last two years, the opportunity to play with so many great guys and a fantastic city so this is the icing on the cake," Delve said.

He also won the people's choice award.

In other awards for the club, which finished its second season 13th with four wins, Cadeyrn Neville capped a season in which he was named in the Wallabies training squad by winning the Rebels' rookie of the year.

The retiring Adam Freier was recognised for his off-field work for the club.  

Tom Chamberlain, who spent two stints on the sidelines because of concussion and did not have his contract was not renewed by the Rebels, was judged the player who best embodied the spirit of Weary Dunlop with his play on the field.

Half-back Nic Stirzaker, who impressed when he came off the bench in the Rebels season-ending game against the Stormers, was named the best player for the Rebels' reserves team.

The players' player award will be presented at a private club dinner tonight.

The Rebels, who lost Danny Cipriani mid-way through the season, acknowledged the 10 further players who will leave the club or have retired.

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