The Waratahs have announced the signings of props Ruan Smith and Archer Holz for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Smith will become the first-ever player to represent all five Australian Super Rugby sides if he takes the field for the 'Tahs after making his debut for the Force in 2012.
He would then spend five seasons with the Brumbies, two at the Reds and one season with the Rebels along with a stint in Japan with Toyota Verblitz.
“DC (Darren Coleman) called me and asked if I was interested in playing for the Waratahs and told me I had a lot to offer the group,” Smith said.
“Playing for Waratahs is a massive opportunity, it’s the biggest team in Australia. We’ve got a great young team and even though I bring a lot of experience I think they’ll offer just as much for me as I will for them. Being around these young guys gives you a lot of energy and makes me feel a lot younger than I am.”
“It was no secret that last season we struggled a bit at scrum time, so with the few spots we needed to fill, size, experience and an aggressive nature were key aspects we were looking for and Ruan ticks all those boxes," coach Darren Coleman added.
“He’s been a Super Rugby player for a long time, he’s big, experienced, aggressive and brings a lot to our dressing room as well.
“Ruan’s a great team man who understands team harmony and chemistry and will be a great mentor to the good battery of tight head props we have.”
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Holz heads back to NSW after a stint with the Brumbies, making his debut this year in Round 4 of Super Rugby AU against the Reds.
Having grown up in the region, Holz was excited to get the opportunity to play for his childhood club.
“Growing up in country NSW and playing rugby as kid, the Waratahs has always been the team I supported, so I’m really grateful to get the opportunity to hopefully wear the Sky-Blue,” Holz said.
“Last year watching from the outside it felt like a tough year, but the group looked like they stayed incredibly tight and after speaking to DC (Darren Coleman) and Pauli (Taumoepeau) it sounded like a group that I wanted to be part of.
“I’m really excited about the program the coaches have put together and feel it’s the best place for me to develop as a player.”