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Departing Rebels see a bright future for club


Stathi Paxinos

Julian Huxley says he understands Rebels' desire to blood new talent.

Julian Huxley says he understands Rebels' desire to blood new talent. Photo: Getty Images

THEIR careers at the Melbourne Rebels are coming to an end, but former Wallabies Julian Huxley and Alister Campbell believe they will be leaving the fledgling Super Rugby club in strong shape.

Huxley will head to French second division club Narbonne, which is coached by his former Brumbies teammate Justin Harrison, while Campbell will retire.

They will join foundation players, such as Stirling Mortlock and Michael Lipman, who are both retiring, to leave the club at the end of this season.

Huxley, who made a remarkable comeback to his career in 2010 after brain surgery to remove a tumour two years earlier, said he would have liked to continue with the Rebels but understood their desire to blood new talent. He said it also gave him the chance to finish his career on a less competitive note.

''It's time to have some fun and enjoy the travelling opportunities that rugby gives you,'' the 32-year-old said. ''I never did that when I left school. As a kid I chased my contract rather than go travelling like most young kids do, but it's time to see a bit of the world.

''Although I wasn't wanted here next year, it probably didn't alter what was going to happen anyway, because I was looking to have that international experience and have some fun with my rugby while I'm still playing some good footy. I think I've got a lot to offer still and I want to go somewhere and be a contributor rather than a liability.''

Huxley said the Rebels had shown this year that they could develop into a strong Super Rugby club.

''There's glimpses of a great future there,'' he said. ''When we get it right we can beat any team. We're not a team that struggles and beats a couple of the lower teams, we're trying to play a type of footy that can win titles. When we get it right we will beat anyone, so that's a positive for the club.''

Campbell, 32, who will have surgery for neck and shoulder injuries at season's end, said he would remain in Melbourne with his family in the short term and be happy to act as a mentor to the Rebels' emerging talent Hugh Pyle, Cadeyrn Neville and Luke Jones.

''We've got some with real firepower now in that position and it's great to see those guys doing well and, if I'm around, I'm happy to be a sounding board for those guys if they need any suggestions or anything like that,'' he said.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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