The Brumbies have announced that wing Lausii Taliauli and tighthead prop Ruan Smith have both signed contract extensions with the Canberra-based outfit.
Former Australian Sevens representative Taliauli has signed a new one-year deal with the club while Smith has signed a new two-year deal.
Taliauli has been earmarked as one of Australia’s top wing prospects following his debut for the Brumbies in Round One of the 2015 Super Rugby Season. He made seven appearances for the side this year and crossed for one try.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham showed faith in the former Gold Coast Titans NRL winger, by selecting Taliauli to start on the wing in the Brumbies Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
“Lausii had a couple of chances with us this year and was ruled out through injury, but I thought we saw a lot of promise in him when he played the round games,” Larkham told the Brumbies' official website.
Born in New Zealand but raised on Australia's Gold Coast from the age of 14, Taliauli began to make strides in his rugby career playing for the famous Southport School.
After graduation he switched to rugby league and played for the Gold Coast Titans U20 side for two years before concentrating on Sevens rugby.
After debuting for the University of Canberra Vikings for the latter part of the 2014 National Rugby Championship season, Taliauli is now regarded as one of Australia's National Rugby Championship’s most electrifying try-scorers.
His pace and size was a feature during the 2015 John I Dent Cup in which he was a member of the grand final winning Canberra Royals outfit.
Ruan Smith is the other Brumbies up-and-comer to have signed a new deal with the club this week.
Smith, who hails from Vryburg South Africa linked with the Brumbies Extended Playing Squad in 2013 after making his Super Rugby debut with the Western Force in 2012. He has since played over 40 matches for the Brumbies, and was one of only a handful of players to feature in every single Brumbies match during the 2015 season.
The 25-year is currently playing with Toyota Verblitz in Japan. He will return to Australia to link up with the Brumbies in early 2016.
Brumbies CEO Michael Jones says the retention of both Taliauli and Smith adds great depth to the Brumbies squad.
“Ruan is one of the best up-and-coming tighthead props in Australia,” explained Jones.
“He’s being closely monitored by the Wallabies, and is currently getting some valuable game time in Japan.
“He will link up with the rest of the Brumbies squad for the Super Rugby pre-season.
“Having him locked in until the end of 2017 means we have a number of great options in out front row for the next two seasons and great depth in some key positions.
“Lausii is another player we are excited to retain.
“His pace and size make him a dangerous player to mark for any opposition.
“He showed us in 2015 that he’s built for Super Rugby so we’re very happy to have him on board for next season."