Super Rugby
Adam Thomson dumps Reds for Rebels
ESPN Staff
July 20, 2015
Adam Thomson and James O'Connor hug it out, Super Rugby, Ballymore, Brisbane, May 24, 2016
There wasn't enough love for Thomson to stay at the Reds © @adamjohnthomson / Instagram

Former All Blacks back-rower Adam Thomson has abandoned Queensland Reds and signed with Melbourne Rebels for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Thomson was one of three high-profile Reds recruits ahead of 2015 alongside Karmichael Hunt and James O'Connor; but a disappointing season at Ballymore has seen the 33-year-old back-rower head south to Melbourne.

The Rebels were one of the big improvers of 2015 as they recorded a first ever win on New Zealand soil on their way to seven season wins. But they will be without departed skipper Scott Higginbotham, making Thomson a key recruit for next year.

"Adam will bring a great deal of experience, ability and dynamism to our squad," McGahan said. "He has proven himself to be one of the top loose forwards in the Southern Hemisphere over a sustained period, and he'll add a lot to our rugby program when he arrives in Melbourne."

Thomson said the Rebels' recent development had been the key driver behind his decision to switch between Australian franchises.

"At this stage of my career, I wanted to continue to play rugby at a high level and it was important to be in an environment that best fits my needs, that I feel can get the best out of me and where I believe I can contribute the most," Thomson explained. "Having played against the Rebels for a number of years, I've seen some real development; the style they play and the direction the Club's heading is exciting. I think my game will fit well with the Rebels and allow me to play some quality football, which I am still very much driven to do."

Thomson was involved with a heated dressing-room argument with O'Connor as the Reds endured a forgettable loss to the Sharks towards the end of the season. The duo later claimed to have resolved their differences but Thomson's departure only adds to the belief that all is not well at Ballymore. Hooker James Hanson will also be on the Rebels' roster next season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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