UC Brumbies EPS announced

The University of Canberra Brumbies have named five EPS (Extended Playing Squad) members for the 2014 Super Rugby Season.

Lachlan McCaffrey, Michael Dowsett, Stephan Van Der Walt, Jean-Pierre Smith and Allan Alaalatoa have all earned contracts.

Since the EPS program began, Scott Sio, Jesse Mogg and Scott Fardy have progressed through to the Wallabies squad, while Ruaidhri Murphy, Josh Mann-Rea, Jordan Smiler and Ruan Smith are now fulltime UC Brumbies contract holders. 2012 EPS player, Anthony Hegarty, is playing Top 14 in France with Grenoble.

McCaffrey boasts the most experience of the new comers having clocked up 8 Super Rugby caps with the Waratahs and the Western Force. A tough flanker, McCaffrey is another welcome addition to a UC Brumbies back-row already boasting the likes of David Pocock, Ben Mowen, Jordan Smiler, Scott Fardy, Fotu Auelua and Jarrad Butler.

Alaalatoa will join the UC Brumbies front-row as one of the squad’s biggest units. This contract is his first professional crack at rugby having previously represented Australia at Schoolboys and Under 20’s. Like Scotty Sio, Alaalatoa’s father Vili was a member of the 1991 Samoan Rugby World Cup squad.

Twin brother of Ruan Smith, Jean-Pierre Smith makes his way to an EPS contract having trained fulltime with the UC Brumbies for the last six months. Smith went within a whisker of making his state debut against the British and Irish Lions in 2013 after being named on the bench.

Dowsett is a nippy scrumhalf with one of the best passes in Australian rugby. Largely untested at professional level, Dowsett made his biggest impact at Shute Shield in 2013 where he starred for Northern Suburbs under former UC Brumbies Joel Wilson and Scott Fava. Dowsett was raised on Sydney’s North Shore and spent time at The Scots College at Bellevue Hill.

Van Der Walt was one of the UC Brumbies EPS players in 2013 and he returns for another crack at pro-rugby in 2014. A big, strong finisher, Van Der Walt has done the hard yards and is ready to make the step up to Super Rugby over the next 12 months.

Allan Alaalatoa
H/W: 182cm, 125kg
DOB: 28/1/1994, Sydney
Super Rugby: Uncapped
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys 2011; Australian Under 20’s 2012

Lachlan McCaffrey
H/W: 194cm, 108kg
DOB: 17/3/1990, Sydney
Super Rugby: Caps 8 (Waratahs 1; Force 7)
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys 2008; Australian Under 20’s 2010

Michael Dowsett
H/W: 182cm, 85kg
DOB: 23/3/1992, Sydney
Super Rugby: Uncapped
Representative Honours: North Sydney 1st Grade 2013

Stephan Van Der Walt
Wing/Outside centre
H/W: 192cm, 92kg
DOB: 21/3/1991, Klerksdorp, South Africa
Super Rugby: Uncapped
Representative Honours: ACT XV 2013; QLD Academy

Jean-Pierre Smith
H/W: 188cm, 121kg
DOB: 24/1/1990, Vryburg, South Africa
Super Rugby: Uncapped
Representative Honours: Western Province, Vodacom Cup