Lucas locked in for Reds

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Ben Lucas is back at Ballymore.

RUGBY.com.au understands the Reds will announce the signing of the utility back on a one-year deal on Friday.

The 30-year-old, who has played for Montpellier and Toyota Verblitz in the three years since he departed the Reds, will provide some much-needed depth for the club across every position in the backline.

With Nick Frisby in Bordeaux, Quade Cooper on the outer and Karmichael Hunt likely to follow suit, the addition of Lucas will add an experienced head to an otherwise green backline.Lucas will provide much needed depth in the backs. Photo: Getty ImagesHe has 73 caps and a Super Rugby premiership medal to his name and that will easily make him the wisest head among a backline that is likely to feature young guns James Tuttle, Hamish Stewart and Izaia Perese in prominent positions.

While he will provide much needed depth, it's understood his signing isn't a reaction to the recent developments which will likely see the aforementioned trio absent from the Reds best XV in 2018.

The club has been in talks with Lucas since September and the move will provide new coach Brad Thorn with some versatility, as he mixes and matches combinations in his first season in charge.

While he can cover every position in the backline, Lucas said he had not discussed where he will slot in.

"I have come in and I'm obviously a little bit older than I was before," he said.Brad Thorn has an experienced playmaker at his disposal in Lucas. Photo: Getty Images"Hopefully I will be able to act as a bit of a guide and help some of the younger guys if there is anything I need.

"Position wise, I obviously have that ability to play a few positions so I'm sure as we get closer to the season, we will nut that out."

He has, however, been keeping tabs on the Reds throughout his years abroad.

"I have tried to keep tabs as well as I can, just watching the NRC and obviously keep in touch with the Reds during the season," he said.

"There are a few familiar faces but a lot of new guys.

"The attitude around the place seems really good and everyone is eager and keen to get stuck in."