Rugby Union


Rugby union: Brumbies recruit Albert Anae farewells Italy for another crack at Super Rugby

Brumbies recruit Albert Anae has traded Italy for Canberra to satisfy his desire of having "one more crack" at Super Rugby.

After spending last season with Italian club Benetton Treviso, the former Queensland Reds front-rower has arrived in Canberra eager to fit into his new surroundings.

The 26-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Brumbies for the 2016 season with an option for a second year.

Anae will compete with Josh Mann-Rea for the back-up hooker's role behind Wallabies captain Stephen Moore.

He can also play at loose-head prop.

Anae has unfinished business in Super Rugby after earning 27 caps in four years with the Reds before leaving at the end of the 2014 season.


"I thought I had a lot more to give to Australian rugby and I wanted to give it a crack one more time in Super Rugby," Anae said.

"I enjoyed my time (in Italy), but deep down inside I knew I wanted to come back to Super Rugby.

"To get picked up by the Brumbies, it's a real honour to be here."

Born in Wellington, Anae moved to Brisbane at a young age before attending Ipswich Grammar School.

He progressed through the Australian Schoolboys, under-19s and under-20s representatives teams and into the Reds Academy.

Anae made his Super Rugby debut for the Reds in 2011 under Ewen McKenzie.

He joined Benetton Treviso at the end of last year, testing himself against many former and current internationals.

"You come across forwards that play internationals for their own countries and you get real starstruck," Anae said.

"They take pride in their scrummaging over there so it helped my game in terms of scrums and had a massive emphasis on the set piece. "That's what I took out of European rugby."

Anae has worked closely with Mann-Rea since he arrived in Canberra on Monday.

Mann-Rea, 34, has spent the last three seasons with the Brumbies, moving up from an extending playing squad contract in 2013 before making his Wallabies' debut last year.

"I'm signed as a hooker, so I'll be investing a lot of time into that area and I'll be learning from Stephen Moore and Josh Mann-Rea," Anae said. "As an athlete, that's what you challenge yourself against or you wouldn't be in that business.

"It's going to benefit both of us by helping each other out."

Anae will begin his preparations for next season when he plays for the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship.

His addition to the Brumbies' squad covers the loss of Siliva Siliva​, who has signed with the Melbourne Rebels.

The Brumbies are still looking for an experienced scrum-half to fill the void left by Nic White's move to France.