Australian centre Andrew Smith signs for Munster
Published 01/05/2014 | 08:56
Australian centre Andrew Smith will join Munster Rugby squad for season 2014/15 on a one-year contract.
The 29-year-old is currently involved with Super 15 side the UC Brumbies where former Munster Forwards Coach Laurie Fisher is the Director of Rugby.
Hailing from Sydney and a former member of the Waratahs Academy system, Smith has 43 Super Rugby caps after making his debut against the Blues in 2010.
The centre featured against the British and Irish Lions last summer when the Brumbies were the only provincial side to defeat them.
Smith said, "I'm really looking forward to joining Munster and making the most of the opportunity. Laurie Fisher has always spoken highly about the team and culture. It's definitely somewhere I want to go and make an impact, working closely with the boys and training hard. I've no doubt it will be a great experience and I can't wait to get stuck in."
Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said, "We look forward to welcoming Andrew when he arrives at the end of his Super 15 commitments with the Brumbies. We are delighted to have secured the services of a player of his calibre for next season."
Meanwhile, Connacht Rugby have added talented young backs Ian Porter and Shane O'Leary to their squad for next season, with the duo signing two-year and one-year deals respectively with the province and the IRFU.
Scrumhalf Ian Porter (26) joins from Ulster Rugby where he has been a part of the professional set up for three seasons. Progressing through the Ulster Academy, the Banbridge native went on to represent Ireland at Under-20 level where he was the designated goal-kicker, landing a memorable last minute penalty to win the match against Italy at the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship.
Over the last few seasons, Porter has proven himself at senior level with 11 PRO12 appearances under his belt, his speed of service and accuracy of pass being key features of his game. Known for his tactical kicking, Porter has also developed his place kicking abilities and combines this with his organisational abilities at the breakdown. This season he started in the Number 9 jersey against Glasgow Warriors and Connacht Rugby at the Sportsground.
Shane O'Leary (21) who was born in Cork and raised in Co. Clare, signed with FC Grenoble's Academy last summer straight from AIL side Young Munster.
The centre/outhalf was quick to make his mark at the French club this season, earning his first senior appearance in the Amlin Challenge Cup against Bayonne in October 2013. He went on to play four more games in the European competition, including a start at outside centre against Amlin semi-finalists London Wasps.