Rebels assistant Foote new interim coach

Dave Wessels' time as Melbourne Rebels coach has come to an end after a disappointing Super Rugby AU season Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Assistant Kevin Foote will step up as Melbourne's interim head coach following Dave Wessels' resignation from the Super Rugby post.

Foote has been with the Rebels for four years as defence coach and previously coached in his homeland South Africa and also in the National Rugby Championship with Perth.

He will take over immediately, looking to prepare the Rebels for the Trans-Tasman component of the Super Rugby, with their first match against the Blues in Melbourne on May 15.

Wessels announced his resignation last week after Melbourne missed the Super Rugby AU playoffs, while attack coach Shaun Berne has joined him in departing the club.

The Wallabies coaching staff will assist the Rebels in the short term.

Melbourne boss Baden Stephenson said that Foote's appointment would provide some continuity in the program, whilst bringing in some fresh elements as well.

"Kevin is excited to have been given the opportunity to take on the Interim head coach role and is looking forward to the Trans-Tasman series," Stephenson said.

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

Foote, 42, said it was a privilege to have an opportunity in the head coach role.

"I have big shoes to fill in following Dave's departure and want to thank him for all his support, leadership and friendship over our years working together and look forward to building on the strong platform he has left at the club," Foote said.

"We have a big job ahead of ourselves with the Trans-Tasman series starting in just two weeks and I am excited to work with the team and our staff to ensure we are ready to go come our first game against the Blues."