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Rebels sign rising fullback Jonah Placid
June 17, 2014
Jonah Placid fends off Luteru Laulala of Samoa, Australia v Samoa, 2014 Junior World Championship 5th Place Semi Final, QBE Stadium, Auckland, June 15, 2014
Jonah Placid has been playing for Australia at the junior world championship in New Zealand © Getty Images
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The Melbourne Rebels have moved to replace gun Kiwi Jason Woodward by signing Australian Under-20s fullback Jonah Placid.

Woodward recently announced his plans to leave the Super Rugby club and return to New Zealand to chase a 2015 Rugby World Cup berth.

Placid, currently in New Zealand playing for the Australia team at the the IRB junior world championships, is rated one of the country's brightest prospects.

The Queenslander signed a two-year deal to join Under 20s captain Sean McMahon and centre Lalakai Foketi in Melbourne.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan was delighted to lure Placid south from the Queensland Reds and felt he could make an immediate impact.

"Jonah is certainly one of the most exciting back three players to go through the Australian schoolboys system and Australian under 20s," McGahan said. "We are looking forward to him getting down here and training."

A standout performer for Brisbane Easts rugby club, where he won the 2013 Brisbane club grand final, Placid has played one Super Rugby game for the Reds as a member of their extended playing squad earlier this year.

The 19-year-old said it was a big decision to move away from his home state but felt the Rebels was his best pathway into the Wallabies.

"The main thing is that I believe it will be the best move for my development and my future," Placid said. "I think playing for the Wallabies is the dream for everyone. I'm confident that working hard at the Rebels will give me the best opportunity to do that one day."

© AAP
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