30 Sep Brumbies to add youth and experience to backline
The Aquis Brumbies have agreed to two-year deals with one of Australia’s best young talents in flyhalf Nick Jooste and experienced campaigner Andrew Smith, who will return to the nation’s capital in 2016.
At the tender age of 18, Australian Schoolboy and Perth Spirit player, Jooste has already amassed quite the rugby CV, even though he is still a high school student. The Western Australian native has represented his state at under 16, under 18 and under 20 levels and also represented the Western Force A side against Singapore.
He was recently selected in the Australian Schools Barbarians side that took on Samoa and New Zealand.
The young fly half has been a member of the Hale School’s last three Brother Redmond Cup winning seasons, as well as captaining the side in their most recent title. Over his three years in the Hale first XV Jooste has tallied in excess of 450 points scoring more than 25 tries.
In 2015 Jooste has joined the Perth Spirit in the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship and has turned heads with his kicking game, and vision around the field.
Brumbies Rugby CEO Michael Jones says Jooste’s signature is great news for the club.
“There’s no doubt that Nick is an elite player,” Jones said.
“All Super Rugby clubs have been keeping an eye on him for a while.”
Jooste is just the sixth player in history to be signed on a full-time Super Rugby contract while at school.
Jones says the Brumbies program will help Jooste’s game to develop under the tutelage of experienced coaching staff.
“When you watch him play, you see a resemblance to a young Stephen Larkham.
“I know that sets the bar quite high, however he’s six-foot three, has great vision and a great kicking game, so I think it’s a fair comparison.
“For Nick to be able to learn about Super Rugby from one of the greatest flyhalfs of the game, who just so happens to be our Head Coach, can only be a good thing for his personal development.
Jooste’s kicking game has been making headlines since a video of a successful conversion attempt from 60 metres out was posted online.
He will join the Brumbies on a two-year deal for 2016 and 2017.
Meantime, the Brumbies are excited to welcome back centre Andrew Smith to the club after a two-year hiatus in Ireland and France.
The 30-year old made 50 appearances for the Brumbies between 2010-2014 and scored six tries.
He left Super Rugby at the conclusion of the 2014 season to link up with Irish side Munster, before shifting to French Top 14 side Montpellier Hérault Rugby for the 2014-2015 season.
Jones is excited to welcome Smith back to the ACT for the next two seasons.
“Andrew has some unfinished business here in Canberra,” Jones said.
“After being a part of the side that went so close to winning the Super Rugby title in 2013, he’s rejoining the Brumbies to help us go one better in 2016 and 2017.
“He can play a number of positions and adds depth to our world-class backline.”
Both players will link with the Brumbies later this year in preparation for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
The Brumbies announced earlier this week that they will play eight matches at GIO Stadium next year, beginning with a round one matchup against the Hurricanes on Friday 26 February, followed by a round two showdown at home against the Waratahs.