Rugby-Rebels appoint Foote as interim coach, part ways with Berne

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The Melbourne Rebels have promoted Kevin Foote to the role of interim head coach in the wake of Dave Wessels' resignation and confirmed attack coach Shaun Berne is leaving the Super Rugby side.

Foote, a long-time assistant to Wessels, would provide "continuity whilst bringing some fresh elements as well", Rebels Chief Executive Baden Stephenson said in a statement on Tuesday.

"He is well respected and has a great relationship with the playing group and other staff," added Stephenson.

"The Board and Management see this appointment as a natural progression ... and look forward to seeing him take on the new role with the high energy and professionalism that he is known for."

Wessels stepped down last week after the Rebels failed to make the playoffs of the Super Rugby AU competition, though he has been retained for the duration of his contract in 2021 in a "transitional role".

Berne will finish up at the Rebels before the Trans-Tasman competition against New Zealand's Super Rugby teams starts next week, the team said.

The defending champion ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds clash in Super Rugby AU's title-deciding final on Saturday.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Stephen Coates)