The Reds have signed Canterbury lock Ben Matwijow as injury cover for Kane Douglas for the upcoming Super Rugby season.
Matwijow won the recent ITM Cup with Canterbury and has previously played for the New South Wales Country Eagles in Australia's National Rugby Championship and North Sydney in the Shute Shield.
At 197cm and 117kg, he’s no shrinking violet, injecting some more size into the 2016 squad. Reds forwards coach Nick Stiles said his experience would be valuable in 2016.
"Ben’s character and work ethic are exceptional,” he told the Reds' official website.
“His recent time in the ITM Cup is excellent preparation for Super Rugby.
“He’s an experienced player who comes to us hungry to play Super Rugby.
“We’re fortunate at the Reds to have some promising young locks like Izack Rodda and Lukhan Tui training with us at the moment, but it’s great to be able to add another experienced head to the group as we prepare for Super Rugby.”
Matwijow has been in contention for a Super Rugby debut in the past, having trained with the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force, playing a match for the latter against the touring British and Irish Lions in 2013.
The new recruit will arrive at Ballymore next week and can't wait to get started.
“I’m absolutely stoked to be joining the Reds,” said Matwijow.
“It’s all about doing the hard work and things will fall into place if you do the work. I’ve dealt with Nick Stiles before at the Force and he’s a great coach, he knows how to get the best out of me.
“Playing in New Zealand was an awesome experience and I learnt a lot about my game. Canterbury’s expectation is to win. They’re the team everyone wants to beat and they’ve got a really ruthless mentality.”