Lance a surprise signing for Reds

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

In a move that will both shock and shore up their playmaking stocks, the Reds have signed Jono Lance.

Lance, who started at fullback in Queensland's title winning 2011 team, has been granted an immediate release from the Rebels to move north.

The journeyman playmaker was the leading contender to run the Rebels attack in 2018 but will now add his versatile yet skilful arsenal to a Reds backline largely devoid of experience.

Lance starred as the Force's flyhalf in 2017 but he has played right across the backline through a career that has taken him to the Reds, Waratahs, Force and Worcester.

That could see him slot in at fullback in Karmichael Hunt's absence, with young gun Hamish Stewart more suited to running the show from flyhalf.Lance will be an invaluable addition to the Reds fold. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelIt's understood Lance is eager to resume his career in the northern hemisphere with the Warriors at the conclusion of the upcoming Super Rugby season, though whether that plays out remains to be seen.

The 27-year-old is currently nursing a broken hand but with the paperwork signed, he will figure as a part of coach Brad Thorn's plans immediately.

"I spent a lot of time at Ballymore in the early stages of my career so it was a great feeling to be driving back through the gates again," Lance said.

"I know the guys have been working hard in the pre-season so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens the next few weeks.Lance is locked in for 2018. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel"It’s really exciting to get back and pull on the Reds jersey again."

Lance was particularly eager to work with Thorn, as the Reds remodel their side once more.

"Everyone in world rugby knows the kind of guy Brad Thorn is," Lance said.

"To be able to work with him is definitely very exciting.

"I was lucky enough to play against him once and just his background, his toughness and the way he goes about everything and the conversations I have had with him are really exciting ones."