Reds bulk up with Saffa prop
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Former Stormers and Brumbies prop Jean-Pierre (JP) Smith is one of 10 new signing named in the Queensland Reds squad for the 2018 Super Rugby season.
Smith, along with new signing NSW Country Eagles hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, will add depth to Brad Thorn's front row stock.
A number of players have also been promoted from within the Reds pathway, including young locks Angus Blyth and Harry Hockings, back row Angus Scott-Young, flyhalf Hamish Stewart and scrumhalf Tate McDermott. In total, 83 percent of the 2018 squad have emerged from Queensland pathway programs.
Six players have been re-signed ahead of the 2018 season, including recent Wallabies debutant Karmichael Hunt, as well as Queensland Country standouts Caleb Timu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Duncan Paia’aua, Izaia Perese and Eto Nabuli, who was also the Reds leading try scorer in 2017.
Twenty players have been retained from the 2017 squad, including Wallabies Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Samu Kerevi, James Slipper, George Smith, Scott Higginbotham and Taniela Tupou.
Joining the Reds coaching staff for the first time in 2018 will be former Queensland and Wallabies wing Paul Carozza, who has spent the last 15 years in various coaching roles at Ballymore, most recently as assistant coach with 2017 National Rugby Championship winners Bond University Queensland Country and the undefeated Queensland U20s.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "We’re excited to have Paul [Carozza] joining the Reds coaching staff, after providing me with good support in the Queensland Under-20 and with Queensland Country. He’s got a long history in Queensland Rugby and he is passionate about driving success at the Reds.
"We’ve managed to keep a fairly consistent squad for 2018, but we’ve also rewarded a lot of new players for their hunger and hard work throughout the 2017 season. I’m pleased to see them get their opportunity to be part of the Reds squad.
"It’s good to be back at Ballymore and into the thick of pre-season. We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we’re excited by the challenge. Everyone you’ll see in Reds colours in 2018 will have worked extremely hard to get there,"
Queensland Reds squad:
Forwards: Sef Fa'agase, Harry Hoopert, James Slipper, JP Smith, Taniela Tupou, Markus Vanzati, Alex Mafi, Andrew Ready, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Angus Blyth, Kane Douglas, Harry Hockings, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Tui, Michael Gunn, Reece Hewat, Scott Higginbotham, Adam Korczyk, Angus Scott-Young, George Smith, Caleb Timu, Liam Wright.
Backs: Nick Frisby, Tate McDermott, Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle, Quade Cooper, Hamish Stewart, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia'aua, Filipo Daugunu, Karmichael Hunt, Lachlan Maranta, Eto Nabuli, Izaia Perese.