Rugby Union

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Manu to add spice to Rebels

THE Melbourne Rebels have moved to strengthen their front-row stocks for next year's Super Rugby season by signing prop Pauliasi Manu from the Blues on a two-year contract.

The front row has been an area of inconsistency for the Rebels in their first two years and Manu, who was caught down the pecking order in Auckland, will bring extra depth to the team as it looks to improve on 13th place last season.

Manu has played only five games in the past two seasons behind veteran All Blacks loose-head prop Tony Woodcock.

''I have learnt a lot from Tony and all my teammates, and am proud of my time with Auckland,'' he said. ''I am really looking forward to the opportunity to push for a starting spot.''

With former Wallaby Rodney Blake not part of next year's squad, Rebels coach Damien Hill is looking forward to the competition between Manu, 24, Nic Henderson and Eddie Aholelei for the starting loose-head spot with Melbourne.

''In addition to his scrummaging, Pauliasi brings attacking skills and a competitive streak that is going to make the battle for starting loose-head prop very exciting over the next two years,'' Hill said.

The Rebels have also signed flanker Scott Fuglistaller and utility back Jason Woodward from Wellington.