Queensland Reds winger Dom Shipperley will join the Melbourne Reds from next season after signing a two-year deal with the Super Rugby club.
Dom Shipperley has joined the long line of backs leaving the Queensland Reds at season’s end, signing a two-year deal with Super Rugby rivals the Melbourne Rebels.
The 23-year-old speedster is the club’s third recruit in as many days, having lured Waratahs winger Cam Crawford on Wednesday and Australian under-20s fullback Jonah Placid of the Reds 24 hours earlier.
Shipperley and Placid’s defection brings to five the number of backs who won’t be calling Ballymore home next year, with Mike Harris also to join the Rebels, Rod Davies moving to French outfit Biarritz and Aidan Toua headed for Agen.
The Reds are reportedly clearing the deck to sign former Wallabies back James O’Connor and codehopper Karmichael Hunt.
Shipperley has played 43 games for Queensland, scoring 13 tries in 43 Super Rugby appearances.
He has also represented Australia on three occasions at senior level and last played for the Wallabies in the 2012 Rugby Championship.
“I definitely want to get back into the Wallabies – it’s at the forefront of my goals and a big part of the reason why I’m moving,” Shipperley said on Thursday.
“A change of environment and a new way of looking at the game will hopefully benefit me and help in my aim of breaking back into the Australian team.”
The winger has never lived outside Brisbane, but will have plenty of familiar faces to help him settle in Melbourne – including two of his championship-winning Reds teammates from 2011, Rebels skipper Scott Higginbotham and Harris, and fellow Australian schoolboy Luke Jones.
“I have been down a couple of times and Melbourne seems really vibrant; there’s always something happening,” he said.
“From the guys that I have talked to who moved down there, they have thoroughly enjoyed it and that was certainly part of the attraction with signing for the Rebels.”
Rebels coach Tony McGahan labelled the signing a coup for the young franchise.
“To sign a quality player like Dom, a Wallaby and a very experienced Super Rugby player with the ability to influence games, is fantastic,” McGahan said.
“His finishing ability is great. He is strong and athletic, and able to carry the ball well into close contact.
“His aerial work is strong, and those skills will help make the wing position down here in Melbourne a highly competitive position.”