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Queensland Reds re-sign lock trio

Wed, 29/06/2022, 6:58 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Crusaders hosted the Queensland Reds in the first Quarter Final match.

The Queensland Reds have re-signed lock trio Ryan Smith, Connor Vest and Lopeti Faifua.

Smith has had a breakout season for the Reds, having been named in the Australia A squad for the Pacific Nations Cup.

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The 2021 Reds Rookie of the Year has signed a two-year extension, excited to build something special in his home state.

“For me, re-signing means I have the opportunity to stay in Queensland with my family and friends," Smith said in a statement.

“Coming into the squad was a difficult time having to juggle work and training commitments. Since then I have relished the opportunity to be training and playing full-time. I love living in and playing for Queensland.

“We have achieved a lot as a squad but there remains a lot for us as a team, and me personally, to strive for over the next two years.”

Meanwhile, Vest and Faifua have re-committed until the end of 2023 after making their debut during Super Rugby Pacific.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and very proud to be wearing the Reds jersey," Vest said.

“I feel like Brisbane is home for me and my family now, and I’m looking forward to adding as much value as I can both on and off the field. 

“This club is building something special and it feels amazing to be a part of the journey.”

“Re-signing gives me another chance to prove myself and it gives me confidence knowing I’ll have my family by my side with me," Faifua added, having been named in the Junior Wallabies' side to face Argentina.

“I believe Queensland is the home of Rugby in Australia, so I’m excited to challenge myself here and keep progressing.

“There’s a lot of talent here at Ballymore, I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited for the future.”

Reds General Manager of Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley was pleased to lock down the trio, proud of their journeys to the full-time squad.

“It’s great to have another three Queensland pathway products re-sign," Cordingley states.

“Queensland have always had a strong group of locks. They’ll continue to improve within our program and will benefit from Brad Thorn's experience.

“Ryan and Connor are great for our group. Both are qualified tradesmen and offer great perspective. 

“It’s a good reward for Ryan to be selected for Australia A. He was our Rookie of the Year last year and received our Spirit of the Reds award this season. He’ll grow from the experience.

“Connor’s a great story of perseverance. He has worked incredibly hard to get to the position he’s in today. 

“Lopeti got the chance to debut this season and is a promising player. We’re looking forward to seeing more of him next season.”

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