Reds sign another SA-born prop
TRANSFER NEWS: The Queensland Reds have added an experienced tighthead prop to their squad, with the signing of South African-born Ruan Smith through 2020.
Twin brother of Jean-Pierre Smith, who was signed late last year, Ruan has joined Queensland Reds training at Ballymore as preparations ramp up for their second home game of 2018.
The 28-year-old has played more than 50 Super Rugby games, most recently with the Brumbies, since making his debut for the Western Force in 2012. He was originally signed with the Sunwolves for the 2018 Super Rugby season, but was released on compassionate grounds.
Ruan said: "I'm really excited to be joining the Reds, especially considering my brother JP has already settled in and is loving it.
"My family is here and Queensland is our home, so it is great to be back here. I'm very thankful to the Sunwolves for understanding my situation and making it easier for me to return home to be with my family.
"My parents made sure the family were Reds members as soon as we moved to Toowoomba more than a decade ago and they've had the same seats at Suncorp Stadium ever since.
"We grew up as Reds supporters, so it's a dream for us to be playing for them. It's actually surreal how it has all worked out."
While the twins were born in South Africa, Queensland is their second home, after their family emigrated from Cape Town to Toowoomba in 2006, where they spent a year studying at Darling Downs Rugby nursery Toowoomba Grammar School.
The pair also plied their trade in Queensland Premier Rugby for Brisbane club GPS, before earning Super Rugby contracts.
Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "It's good to be able to add some more experience to the squad. Ruan is a seasoned tighthead prop, he'll add to the depth and competition for spots in the front row.
"We've been really impressed with Ruan's brother, JP, so it's great to welcome him into the team as well.
"They're fine young men who train hard and are keen to contribute."