The University of Canberra Brumbies 2013 playing roster is now full, with the announcement that Stephan Van Der Walt and Mark Swanepoel have occupied the final two EPS positions.
Van Der Walt arrives from Queensland where he has been playing with Queensland Country and the University of Queensland. A former Sunshine Coast boy who migrated to Australia with his family from South Africa at the age of 8, Van Der Walt has the size and speed to make it as an outside centre or wing at Super Rugby level.
Backs Coach Stephen Larkham said Van Der Walt had many similar traits to Clyde Rathbone in the way he attacks.
“We’ve signed Stephan from Queensland as a very passionate, aggressive outside back,” Larkham said.
“Stephan is a bit like Clyde – he’ll run over the top of you before he’ll run around you. He’s a big guy with quality skills and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with the benefit of a fulltime system.
“He’s got good size and speed and we think he’s probably slipped under the radar a bit so it will be exciting to see how he goes.
Swanepoel joins the University of Canberra Brumbies from New Zealand where he has been representing Canterbury in the ITM Cup. A former Western Force player who claimed four caps between 2009 and 2011, Swanepoel was on the cusp of featuring for the Crusaders in 2012 before returning to Australian shores in search of more opportunity.
Another player with South African heritage, Swanepoel is a big, physical halfback who intends on pushing Ian Prior and Nic White all the way in the hunt for the starting No 9 jersey.
“He gives us coverage now, particularly with Nic White missing the majority of pre-season through his shoulder injury,” Larkham said.
“He’s only flown in this morning from New Zealand but you’d have to say that early inspections suggest he’s a very promising player.
“At 22 he’s been in Super Rugby before, he’s got four caps with the Force and also spent time with the Crusaders so that experience will certainly work in his favour.”
All 35 spots on the University of Canberra Brumbies roster have now been filled.
Stephan Van Der Walt
DOB: 21/4/91, Kerksdorp, South Africa
Pos: Centre, wing
School: Northside Christian College, Brisbane
Juniors: Northside Christian College, Brisbane
Colts: Norths Brisbane (2009); Sunshine Coast Stingrays (2010, 2011); University of Queensland (2012)
2010-2011: Queensland Country
2011-2012: Queensland A
2010: Queensland Under 19’s Merit Squad
DOB: 26/10/1990, Johannesburg, South Africa
School: The Southport School, Gold Coast
Juniors: Surfers Paradise
Super Rugby Debut: 2009 v Bulls, Perth (Force)
2007: Queensland Schools; Australian Schoolboys
2008: Australia Schoolboys
2009: Australian Under 20’s
Force: Caps 4
Super Rugby: Caps 4