Munster bring in Andrew Smith from Brumbies

Greg Feek also appointed Ireland’s scrum coach, Connacht make two new signings

Andrew Smith in action for the Brumbies in the Super 15 match against the Bulls earlier last month. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Andrew Smith in action for the Brumbies in the Super 15 match against the Bulls earlier last month. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images


Munster have confirmed the signing of Australian centre Andrew Smith, who will join on a one-year deal this summer to replace the outgoing Casey Laulala.

The 29-year-old Smith will join from the Brumbies, where he has made 43 appearances in Super Rugby. Laulala will leave for Racing Métro at the end of the season while inside centre James Downey will also depart the province this summer.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Munster and making the most of the opportunity,” Smith said this morning. “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.”

Connacht have also continued their recruitment drive for next season, bringing in Ian Porter and Shane O’Leary on new deals with the province.

Scrumhalf Ian Porter joins from Ulster on a two-year deal having found his opportunities limited at Ravenhill with Ruan Pienaar and Paul Marshall ahead of the 26-year-old in the pecking order.

And O’Leary, who can play at both outhalf and centre, comes in on a one-year deal from the French Top 14 side Grenoble, who he joined last summer after a number of eye-catching appearances for Young Munster in the All-Ireland League.

Greg Feek, meanwhile, has been appointed as Ireland’s scrum coach on a permanent basis having been employed by the national side on a consultancy basis for the last three years.

Feek, a former All Black prop, had been also been working with Leinster since 2011 having joined the province from the Hurricanes in his native New Zealand.

“I am excited to be taking on this new role,” Feek said this morning. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Leinster and have grown as a coach at the province.

“There is some good scrum talent across all four provinces but there is always plenty to work on as we attempt to maximize the growth and development of the emerging talent while also staying as competitive as possible at the top level.”

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