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Brumbies sign former New Zealand Schoolboys star and potential Wallaby

By Alex Shaw

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The Brumbies have bolstered their squad for the 2019 season with a key addition in the form of centre Irae Simone.

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The former Waratah debuted in Super Rugby during the 2017 season, showing flashes of his ability, before playing an understudy role to Kurtley Beale over the last six months.

The form that Beale found himself in this past season was a significant contributor to the Waratahs making the semi-finals of the competition, but it also prevented Simone from building on his 2017 season, something which he will be keen to do when he moves to Canberra for the next campaign.

A previous Shute Shield Rookie of the Year and standout for the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship, Simone will be looking to fill the void left at the Brumbies by Kyle Godwin’s move to Connacht.

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It’s a position that the Brumbies have struggled to fill since the 10-12 axis of Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano played together, a combination which helped the Brumbies challenge the dominion of the New Zealand teams in the competition.

If Simone can impress in pre-season and secure the 12 jersey next to Lealiifano – and develop a chemistry with Tevita Kuridrani outside of him – then the Brumbies will have a good chance of returning to the top of the Australian conference.

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Simone adds another powerful carrying option in the Brumbies midfield, capable of getting them over the gain line, something which the franchise struggled with in 2018. This season, the Brumbies were tied for last in the competition for defenders beaten, whilst their clean breaks total only surpassed those of the Reds and Sunwolves.

By adding a more direct option at inside centre in Simone, the Brumbies will hope to rectify this in 2019 and give their formidable pack the opportunity to run forward on to the ball, rather than crabbing sideways as aggressive defences stymie them on the gain-line.

In other news: Hooper speaks about record Wallabies contract

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Brumbies sign former New Zealand Schoolboys star and potential Wallaby

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