Trio of big signings a boost for Brumbies31/01/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
Sport. Brumbies V Warratahs at the Canberra Stadium. Christian Lealiifano slides over for a try and is congratulated by Clyde Rathbone. March 9th 2013 Photograph by Graham Tidy The Canberra Times. Photo: Graham TidyIt started as the fairytale comeback but veteran winger Clyde Rathbone is poised to prove he’s not a one-season wonder as the Brumbies prepare to extend the former Wallaby’s Super Rugby return.
In a triple signing bonus for the Brumbies, Rathbone, powerhouse forward Fotu Auelua and outside centre Andrew Smith are on the verge of signing new one-year deals as early as next week to stay in Canberra.
Fairfax Media understands the deals are almost finalised and the news follows Wallabies star Pat McCabe recommitting to the Brumbies until the end of 2015..
The trio’s commitment to the Brumbies is a massive boost as the team prepares to fly to New Zealand to take on the Auckland Blues on Saturday.
Just 12 months ago Rathbone wasn’t even on the Super Rugby radar after going public about his battle with depression.
He rebuffed an initial invitation from Brumbies coach Jake White to trial for a Super Rugby contract.
But after a solid block of training, Rathbone decided to take a chance and signed a one-year deal to end his three-year retirement.
Since making an emotional comeback in round one, the 26-Test Wallaby has been a valuable asset to the new generation Brumbies – on and off the field.
Rathbone played the first five games of the season and showed glimpses of recapturing the blockbusting form that established him as an international winger before chronic knee problems ended his career in 2009.
At 31, Rathbone offers much-needed experience for the rebuilding Brumbies as they try to re-establish themselves as perennial title contenders.
Auelua is set to sign a one-year deal and extend his stay in Canberra after the Brumbies helped him resurrect his Australian career last season.
The 29-year-old wrecking ball was added to a Wallabies logistics camp last month and has the next three games to push his case for selection in the British and Irish Lions series.
Smith signed a one-year deal last season but it’s understood he’s close to finalising another short-term contract to chase a Super Rugby title.
Their decision to stay in the capital will bolster White’s plans to continue rebuilding the Brumbies.
Skipper Ben Mowen, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, McCabe, David Pocock, Siliva Siliva and Robbie Coleman have already committed to the end of the 2015 season.
”It’s nice continuity with these guys signing, it just highlights for us that we’re doing things right,” White said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.