It’s still more than six months until the first kick-off of the 2012 Super Rugby season, but CA Technologies Brumbies Head Coach Jake White has finalised his squad with the acquisition of four new players on Friday.
Tom Cox (wing), Zack Holmes (utility back), Tevita Kuridrani (outside backs) and Leon Power (lock) have all committed to contracts with the CA Technologies Brumbies for the next two seasons.
Cox, Holmes and Kuridrani all impressed CA Technologies Brumbies coaching staff at the team’s most recent training camp in Narrabeen. Cox and Kuridrani will move from Queensland where they represent the University of Queensland while Holmes has been impressive for Northern Suburbs in Sydney’s Shute Shield.
Kuridrani has previously represented Australia at Sevens after moving to Queensland from his native Fiji. A strong, robust ball barrier with good vision and rugby skills, Kuridrani will be used to make ground over the advantage line and combine with the likes of Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano.
A former member of the Reds Academy, Kuridrani is the third player to come to Canberra from the Reds for the 2012 Super Rugby season with Ian Prior and Kimami Sitauti.
Holmes is another product of the Australian Sevens program having grown up playing rugby in Perth. Now perfecting his trade as a Shoreman with fellow Brumby Cam Crawford, Holmes’ diversity as a player will allow Brumbies Rugby coaching staff to use him at flyhalf, fullback or even on the wing.
A stocky play-maker with thick set legs and strong upper body, Holmes elusive ball carries complement his quality kicking game – both long and short – as well as his ability to kick for goal.
Cox has been picked from the Queensland competition after displaying blistering pace at the Brumbies Rugby camp at Narrabeen. Suited to the outside backs, Cox has made huge steps in his game despite being relatively new to rugby after switching from AFL.
Backs Coach Stephen Larkham spoke highly of all three new backs following their signings on Friday.
“Zac Holmes is a skilful player out of Norths in Sydney. He is currently Norths’ goal kicker and an accurate field kicker,” Larkham said.
“Being the third quickest in recent squad testing means he will cover a number of positions for us next year, including five-eighth, wing and fullback.
“Tom Cox is a raw talent coming to us from Queensland University in the Brisbane comp.
“He is out and out speed having recently tested fasted in our 40m speed test with a time which would put him as one of the quickest men in Australian rugby.
“He is relatively new to rugby, but listens well and is keen to learn and has a huge potential in the game. Tom will predominantly play on the wing for us next year.
“Tevita Kuridrani also comes from the University of Queensland. Tevita is big and fast, has a natural understanding of the game and has a good passing game.
“He will play anywhere from 12 out as he again has great versatility like the rest of our backline.”
Power has been a star performer for Bay of Plenty in New Zealand’s ITM Cup this season. His team, which currently sits first on the ladder, has been blessed with the 2.01m tall giant in the lineout in 2011 after arriving at the Bay Of Plenty from Taranaki at the start of this season.
Despite spending the majority of his life and playing days in New Zealand, Power was born in Sydney and will not play under the ARU’s foreign marquee player rule.
CA Technologies Brumbies Forwards Coach Laurie Fisher was pleased with the signing of Power and said he was a good fit for where the team was headed in 2012.
“Leon is a big man with a good combination of game and grunt,” Fisher said.
“He has been well schooled in the tough New Zealand rugby environment and we will be expecting him to bring a hard, uncompromising edge to our play.”
H/W: 1.86m, 87kg
Club: University of Queensland
POS: Flyhalf, fullback, wing
H/W: 1.8m, 87kg
Club: Northern Suburbs, Sydney
POS: Outside backs
H/W: 1.89m, 101kg
Club: University of Queensland
H/W: 2.01m, 117kg
Club: Bay of Plenty Steamers