Smith refreshed by Japanese stint

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies prop Ruan Smith says his Japanese stint has refreshed him rather than burned him out.

Smith returned to Canberra this week after a season with Toyota Verblitz and said the pace of the japanese game had opened his eyes to different Rugby approaches.

“Changed my perspective of the way I should play and the way I adapt in games,” he said.

“Japan is obviously a different style of rugby which I think helped me a lot in the way I should approach things come Super Rugby

Smith said the different defensive style had been the most challenging thing to adapt to.

“The way they tackle, they don’t give you time to run, they dive at you so you tend to have to use more of your feet.

“As a bigger guy you tend to run more straight but over there you’ve got to use a bit more footwork and stuff.

“The pace of the game was fairly high, I think when I first got there it was a shock to my system but I think that will help me for Super Rugby.”

Smith said he felt regenerated for the Super Rugby season after the stint with Toyota Verblitz.

“One reason why I went was to mentally refresh a bit,” he said.

“Having different coaching techniques, different approaches to things was really mentally refreshing so I’m excited coming back here as well.”

Smith joins the preseason after his teammates have already been in preseason for up to three months and while it’s helped him avoid the constant fitness that involves, he said he would be working to be on the same level as everyone else.

“I have to start at the bottom. Those guys have a massive head start.

“Although I’ve been playing a lot they've had a massive preseason...they know their combinations and they’re all in good shape.”

The Brumbies face the Waratahs in Wagga on Saturday, their first Super Rugby pre-season trial.