Four more re-sign with Brumbies Rugby

Four more players have committed their futures to the University of Canberra Brumbies beyond 2012, with Andrew Smith, Ita Vaea, Jesse Mogg and Scott Fardy all signing contract extensions on Wednesday.

Smith, Mogg and Fardy have all agreed to one more year in the National Capital while Vaea has committed through to the end of 2014 with a two year deal.

It’s another massive tick for the University of Canberra Brumbies who have re-signed nine players in the last two weeks and made big steps towards finalising their roster for the 2013 season and beyond. 

Rather than take one of the several offers Vaea had tabled both domestically and overseas, the massive loose forward decided that Canberra was the best place for him to develop his skills.

Born and raised in Tonga, Vaea moved to Nelson, New Zealand as a school boy where he was a star at Nelson College before being reunited with his parents in Brisbane after finishing his education.

From there Vaea was spotted creating havoc in the Brisbane club competition and taken to Canberra as a member of the Brumbies Academy. With vacancies created by the injured Rocky Elsom and Stephen Hoiles, Vaea stepped up playing No 8 all season in 2011 and worked his way to a full time contract for 2012.

“I had a few offers to think about in re-signing but speaking with my family and some of the boys I realised this is the best place for me to become a better player,” Vaea said.

“After 18 months of pro-rugby with the Brumbies I’ve learned enough to know that there is something special going on with this young group of players and I’d hate to miss out, playing somewhere else.

“Laurie and Jake have had positive influences over me and the rest of the team this year and it’s exciting to think that we have another two years of working together.”

While Vaea’s two year deal was exciting news for University of Canberra Brumbies fans on Wednesday, the club was also pleased with the retention of Smith, Mogg and Fardy. All three have been key contributors to the University of Canberra Brumbies success in 2012.

For Smith, it’s his third year with the University of Canberra Brumbies and the giant outside-centre has been in career best form. Smith scored two great tries while on tour in South Africa and is amongst the competition’s best for try assists and line-breaks.

His combinations with Henry Speight, Joe Tomane and Pat McCabe have been outstanding in 2012 and the University of Canberra Brumbies were pleased to retain the Easts flyer.

“It was tempting to have a look overseas but the chance to stay here with what we are building was too good to refuse,” Smith said.

“At the start of the season no-one gave us much of a chance but I think we’ve proven that with hard work you can get places in this competition.

“This Saturday is another chance for us to move ahead on top of the Australian Conference and with all the contract negotiations out of the way the boys can put their full focus on the Waratahs.”

For Fardy and Mogg, the chance at a fulltime contract seemed a long way off this time last year having both battled through the new EPS system to play every game of 2012.

Fardy returned to Canberra early in 2012 after three years in Japan with the Kamaishi Sea Waves. A former member of both the Force and Waratahs Academy systems, Fardy was pleased to be staying with the Brumbies and said the coaching staff had had a big influence over his decision to re-sign.

“Jake and Laurie have been fantastic since I got here, they’ve helped me with the smaller details that can often get missed,” Fardy said.

“I’ve been working towards this for a few years now. In Japan I decided I was going to have one last crack so to be able to stay for another year is very satisfying.

“There’s been a lot said about the team’s potential already this year. We are working towards something special and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”

Mogg’s booming left boot first caught the eye of White at a pre-season camp in 2011 after Stephen Larkham noticed the young fullback playing for Wests in last year’s John I Dent Cup.

Mogg said it was nice to have been recognised and that he would not let this opportunity go to waste.

“At the end of last year I had all but given up on getting a spot for this year, I’d pretty much decided to move back to Brisbane. So to be here with a one year, fulltime deal at the Brumbies is exciting for me and my family,” Mogg said.

“I’m just thankful to Jake for giving me a go. There are so many young guys out there who would love the opportunity I’ve been given so I won’t be taking anything easy.

“I already feel like I’m a better player thanks to the systems they’ve got working here at the Brumbies so another 12 months is exciting. We’re a tight group here in Canberra. All the boys spend a lot of time together on and off the field.

“Traditionally, that’s what has made the Brumbies such a special place. The friendships and bonds that the boys are making we are seeing that come through on the field. It’s an exciting time to be here and to be a Brumby.”

Ita Vaea
Loose forward
H/W: 187cm, 119kg
DOB: 09/02/1989, Tonga
Senior Club: Gungahlin, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 23
Super Rugby Points: 5 (1t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2011 v Chiefs, Canberra

Andrew Smith
H/W: 194cm, 104kg
DOB: 10/01/1985, Sydney, NSW
Senior Club: Easts, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 24
Super Rugby Points: 20 (4t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2010 v Blues, Auckland

Scott Fardy
H/W: 1.98m, 113kg
DOB: 05/07/1984, Sydney
Senior Club: Wests, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 9
Super Rugby Points: 10 (2t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2012 v Force, Canberra

Jesse Mogg
H/W: 1.87m, 90kg
DOB: 08/06/1989, Brisbane
Senior Club: Western Districts
Super Rugby Caps: 9
Super Rugby Points: 17 (3t, 1c)
Super Rugby Debut: 2012 v Force, Canberra