Reds 'reclaim' youngster from Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds 'reclaim' youngster from Broncos

By Jim Morton 02/07/2008 01:39:48 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Broncos youngster Rod Davies has followed in the footsteps of Berrick Barnes to create a three-way tussle for Chris Latham's No.15 jersey at the Queensland Reds.

Former Australian Schoolboys rugby fullback Davies on Wednesday signed a two-year deal to switch codes from rugby league and play Super 14 with the Reds from next season.

Like Wallabies inside centre Barnes, another Ipswich Grammar product, the 19-year-old is returning to rugby union after two years with the Broncos.

The NRL high-flyers signed Davies out of school and while he was the Aspley Broncos leading try-scorer in the 2007 Queensland Cup he has yet to break through for a top-grade debut in an injury-affected 2008 season.

The Rockhampton junior said he enjoyed his time with the Broncos but held fond memories of his rugby experience, including time in the ARU's national talent squad.

"They (the NTS) really looked after me and I always knew I'd find myself back in union," said the former schoolboy sprint champion.

Confirmation of Davies' recruitment came on the same day the Reds re-signed former Broncos lower-grader Charlie Fetoai and fullback aspirant Brando Va'aulu, both 21.

England-bound Latham has tipped regular winger Va'aulu to replace him at fullback next season, while in-form Wallabies winger Peter Hynes is seen as the front-runner for the position.

"It's exciting because there's good competition for that spot with Brando, Hynesy and Rod Davies," said Reds performance manager Ben Whitaker.

"Time will tell with Brando. He's a talented kid and we'll trial him there with the others and he knows he has to improve his kicking, which he's working hard to do."

The Reds, who have five positions left to fill on their roster for 2008, have Sydney University tight-head Laurie Weeks, 22, in their sights to replace France-bound Rodney Blake.

They have yet to find a successor to veteran flanker David Croft but have signed Tasi Luafutu, who has started at No.7, and are chasing former Waratah Lei Tomiki, who is contracted to Castres in France.

Former Australian U19 flanker AJ Gilbert has been released while the Reds are interested in NSW understudy Beau Robinson and Western Force back-rower Matt Hodgson if they could be released from their current Super 14 contracts.

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