Brumbies snap up redemption seeking Wallabies veteran
THE Brumbies have confirmed the signing of former Wallabies and Reds prop James Slipper on a two-year deal.
Slipper was unwanted by zero tolerance Queensland Super Rugby coach Brad Thorn after he was banned for cocaine use this season.
The 29-year-old also revealed his mental health struggles this year but has since returned to the field with Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship.
With 86 Tests and 104 Super Rugby games to his name, Slipper adds vast experience to the Brumbies' already strong propping stocks in the form of Wallabies incumbents Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa.
Slipper is a former Reds captain and has also led the Wallabies in a Test win over the United States.
"We are excited to have a player of the calibre of James joining the Brumbies," Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.
"When performing at his best James is a quality international prop.
"He brings very good set piece, physicality and raw aggression which are all qualities we look for in our front rowers.
"Clearly after playing over 80 Tests and more than 100 Super Rugby games he offers enormous experience to the group.
"We also understand that the last 12 months have been a challenging time for James and his family.
"However, following several meetings and discussions with James it is clear he is in now in a very good head space and is highly motivated to get back to professional rugby and prove a point.
"We believe that James will benefit from being a part of the Brumbies culture and environment and receive the support he needs to succeed.
"Something the Brumbies have always done is provide people with opportunity and we feel that this is what we are offering James - an opportunity to get his career back on track and improve and grow as a player and a person."
Slipper's signing continues a busy off-season for the Brumbies, having already lured Pete Samu, Toni Pulu, Irae Simone, Murray Douglas and Tom Wright to Canberra.
"The Brumbies have always had a long history of making players better through their program, so to get a chance to be a part of that is very exciting and something I am looking forward to," Slipper said.
"When I spoke with Dan about 2019 and beyond I was very impressed and cannot thank both him and the Brumbies organisation enough for the opportunity to take my rugby career forward with them."
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