Brumbies confirm Slipper signing

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Brumbies have confirmed the addition of James Slipper for 2019.

Slipper has been on the hunt for a Super Rugby club after being exiled in Queensland over two positive cocaine tests, despite having initially re-signed through until 2020.

Initially it was tipped he was heading to Melbourne but as reported by RUGBY.com.au earlier this month, the 86-Test prop is moving to Canberra.

Slipper made his rugby comeback in August's pre-Bledisloe trial and has been consistent for Queensland Country in the NRC this season.

The 29-year-old said he was looking forward to joining the ACT franchise and securing a Super Rugby home for 2019.

"The Brumbies have always had a long history of making players better through their program, so to get a chance to be a part of that is very exciting and something I am looking forward to,” he said.

“When I spoke with Dan (Brumbies coach Dan McKellar) about 2019 and beyond I was very impressed and cannot thank both him and the Brumbies organisation enough for the opportunity to take my rugby career forward with them.”

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said Slipper's experience would be invaluable for the side.

Earning a start won't be a cakewalk for Slipper in Canberra with Wallabies props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa in their ranks but certainly his addition adds an extra intimidation factor for the Brumbies in 2019.

“When performing at his best James is a quality international prop," he said.

"He brings very good set piece, physicality and raw aggression which are all qualities we look for in our front rowers. Clearly after playing over 80 tests and more than 100 Super Rugby games he offers enormous experience to the group.

McKellar said he was confident Slipper was in a good place mentally as he embarks on a new start.

“We also understand that the last 12 months have been a challenging time for James and his family. However, following several meetings and discussions with James it is clear he is in now in a very good head space and is highly motivated to get back to professional rugby and prove a point," he said.

“We believe that James will benefit from being a part of the Brumbies culture and environment and receive the support he needs to succeed.

"Something the Brumbies have always done is provide people with opportunity and we feel that this is what we are offering James – an opportunity to get his career back on track and improve and grow as a player and a person.”