The St.George Queensland Reds have continued to shore up their squad for 2019 and beyond, with experienced prop JP Smith re-signing for a further two years.
Smith, along with twin brother Ruan, joined the Reds ahead of the 2018 season. Both are now contracted through 2020.
JP featured in all but one of the Reds’ games this year, contributing greatly to one of the most dominant scrums in the competition.
Originally from South Africa, the Smiths emigrated to Toowoomba with their family as teenagers, where they attended Toowoomba Grammar School. The pair always held aspirations to represent the Reds and finally achieved their goal earlier this season, after a number of years playing interstate and abroad.
“Ever since our family moved here, it has been our dream to play for Queensland,” Smith said.
“The Rugby community here has been so supportive, so it is great to be able to call Ballymore home and to settle here for the next two years.
“We felt we made good progress this year, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. We established a standard around our set piece place, so now the challenge is for us to be consistent with that.”
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said the squad was coming together for 2019, with hard work and competition within the group the keys to driving future success.
“JP came into the program ahead of the 2018 season and has really bought into what we’re trying to achieve in the forwards.
“We’ve had a strong focus on consistent, dominant set piece performances and the hard work of him and his teammates in that space has been key.”
Smith is currently representing McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship.
City’s next match is against the Sydney Rays at Woollahra Oval in Sydney on Saturday 15 September at 2:30pm.
POB: Vryburg, South Africa
School: Paarl Gimnasium, South Africa/Toowoomba Grammar School, QLD
Representative honours: Queensland A v Canada (2011), Brisbane City v Queensland Country rep (2011-2012), ARU National Academy (2012-2013), NRC (2014), Super Rugby (2014-2016, 2018-), Queensland (2018-)
Queensland Representative Number: 1322
Super Rugby debut: 2014 v Hurricanes, Wellington (Brumbies)
Super Rugby caps: 42
Super Rugby points: 5 (1T)