Rebels on recruiting mission for Shepherd as Cross signs with Waratahs

RUPERT GUINNESS

June 24, 2010
CAMERON SHEPHERD would offer the Melbourne Rebels ''all the attributes you can look for'' in an outside back, according to the new Super side's acting chief executive officer, Pat Wilson.
The Rebels, Wilson confirmed, had the Western Force player in their sights to fill one of the ''two or three'' vacancies in their back line. Wilson said the Rebels also had ''one or two'' slots left open in the forwards.
Shepherd, a former Waratah who has played six Tests, has been offered a deal by his Perth-based side. But the 26-year-old winger-cum-fullback has also been in negotiations with the Rebels, who will debut in an expanded 15-team Super competition next year.
''No one is in any rush. We are at the critical-mass point,'' Wilson said. ''We are assessing a couple of options and looking at the back end of the roster to fill the last places. But do we have an expression [of interest] in Cameron Shepherd? Yes. He is a highly regarded player. He has athleticism, size and speed; all the attributes you are looking for.''
Asked if the Rebels had been courting any member of the Melbourne Storm NRL side, Wilson said: ''There is speculation but we are not in any current negotiations with any Storm players.''
The Rebels are due to begin a training camp on October 1. They are yet to decide if they will fill their full roster.
Meanwhile, the contractual future of Wallabies centre Ryan Cross has been decided. The Western Force had wanted to retain him, but the Herald understands that Waratahs have signed Cross to a one-year deal.
Cross and another Force back, Scott Staniforth, were vying for one spot left in the Waratahs' back line.
In Napier, former All Blacks winger Hosea Gear scored three tries as the New Zealand Maori capped their centenary celebrations with a 35-28 win over England last night.


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