SA-born prop joins twin brother at Reds
Brisbane - The Reds have added an experienced tighthead prop to their squad, with the signing of South African-born Ruan Smith until 2020.
Twin brother of JP Smith, who was signed by the Reds late last year, Ruan joined the Reds at training this week.
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.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Reds, especially considering my brother JP has already settled in and is loving it,” Ruan told the Reds’ official website.
“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.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn added: “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.”