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18 Jun

Reds veteran Slipper signs with Brumbies

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Veteran Wallabies prop James Slipper has left the Queensland Reds to play for the Brumbies.The Brumbies are confident they can rejuvenate the career of veteran Wallaby James Slipper after signing him on a two-year Super Rugby deal.
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Slipper leaves the Queensland Reds after nine seasons and 104 games, having been on the outer following his admission of cocaine use.

The 86-Test prop has also struggled with mental health issues but Brumbies coach Dan McKellar believes he can thrive again in Canberra.

Slipper was banned for two months in May and fined $27,500 after twice testing positive to cocaine.

The 29-year-old subsequently opened up about his battle with depression following the death of a family member.

He welcomed the chance offered by the Brumbies, where he will effectively replace the retired Ben Alexander and join Wallabies Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa in a potent propping rotation.

“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.”

Slipper returned to the field in the Wallabies pre-Rugby Championship trial four months ago.

He has continued to impress with Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship, showing glimpses of the power and mobility that made him a first-choice Wallaby for much of his career.

His last Test was nearly two years ago but McKellar believes the pathway is there for Slipper to return.

“When performing at his best James is a quality international prop,” McKellar said.

“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.”

McKellar said off-field support would be put in place for Slipper to improve not only as a player but as a person.

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