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Brumbies twins double trouble for Lions

Identical twins Ruan and JP Smith will play together for the Brumbies on Tuesday night.

Identical twins Ruan and JP Smith will play together for the Brumbies on Tuesday night. Photo: Rohan Thomson

ACT Brumbies coach Jake White can tell them apart by looking at a broken nose while their teammates are enforcing a rule that one of the Smith brothers must always have shaggy hair.

Now Ruan and Jean-Pierre Smith are on a mission to send the British and Irish Lions into a twin spin at Canberra Stadium on Tuesday night when they combine in a dream Brumbies call-up.

The two South African-born props are set to team up in the Brumbies' front row for the first time as the ACT side searches for a historic win against the Lions.

Sure, their experience totals just six Super Rugby games - all Ruan's - and the Lions boast the best set-piece exponents in the world.

But the Smiths say their secret weapon is confusion. No one can tell them apart. They were born three minutes apart, play in the same position and even answer to each other's name.

''Our coaches in Brisbane used to say, 'I don't know which brother you are, but one of you did a good job','' Jean-Pierre said.

''People call me [Ruan's] shadow because we're always together. We don't plan to do it, but it's just the way we are. I used to grow my hair longer so they'd know which one I was … now down at the Brumbies I've got to keep it that way.

''A lot of props get confused when they look at us in a scrum … Two months ago I never thought I would be here, words can't describe how I'm feeling.''

Spare a thought for hooker Siliva Siliva when he packs down between the identical brothers against the Lions.

Siliva has never played with twins before. He admits he's confused when they prop up under his arms.

''Telling them apart is one of the toughest things for me in the game … the only way you can tell is their hair,'' Siliva said.

''The Lions will definitely get confused. We do at the Brumbies, so they definitely will.''

Prop Scott Sio will return from Wallabies camp, but Dan Palmer is battling a foot injury and it is unclear whether he will play.

If Palmer is out, it is likely White will call on a club rugby front-rower from Easts to fill the void as the fourth prop on the bench.

Ruan is in his first year at the Brumbies after starting an extended player squad contract.

Jean-Pierre moved to the capital only recently and will take Ruan's extended player squad contract next season when his brother is upgraded to a full-time deal.

The 23-year-old Smith brothers do everything together. Jean-Pierre has been staying on the foldout bed at Ruan's place since arriving in Canberra and they regularly cook up a ''braai'' - a South African barbecue - with housemate Etienne Oosthuizen.

While Ruan has been a front-rower his entire career, loosehead prop Jean-Pierre flirted with a move to the back row before rekindling the family partnership.

Tighthead prop Ruan earned praise for his barnstorming performance against the Melbourne Rebels on June 7 and commentators described him as a ''runaway bull'' as he trampled over defenders.

He is 188 centimetres and 119 kilograms, giving him a slight edge over older brother Jean-Pierre (185 centimetres and 115 kilograms).

Because their family moved to Brisbane in 2010, they are eligible to qualify as Australian players.

Ruan has the rare achievement of representing two countries at schoolboy rugby level - Australia and South Africa in consecutive years.

''I didn't think I'd play any games this year let alone a chance to play against the Lions,'' Ruan said.

''I've played all my rugby with JP. All the way from primary school to senior rugby. It doesn't matter if our teammates yell out 'JP', I automatically look because I think they're talking to me.

''When Jake told me JP was going to come to Canberra … it made everything easier because we've been together our whole life. I missed home a lot, but with him here it's easier.

''A lot of people think we're competitive, the [teammates] always joke who's better looking but we've always got a comeback.''

The duo cut their teeth and one of the most successful rugby schools in South Africa, Paarl Gimnasium, the same school that produced Springboks Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger.

White has a soft spot for the pair. He watched them grow through the junior ranks in Cape Town and one of the first things he did when he arrived was ring Ruan.

''I've known them from school. The day he became Aussie-eligible we chatted and Ruan joined us. Who would have thought they'd be playing against the Lions?'' White said.

''It's a great success story for both of them. This is what they always would have dreamt about in South Africa.

''Yep, I can tell them apart. One has a broken nose … if you look carefully, JP's nose is a bit crooked. But if they put caps on you wouldn't know the difference.''

Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
WAR vs BLU 19:40AS
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA vs FOR 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
BUL vs CRU 04:10Loftus Versfeld
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs STO 18:35WS
REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
WAR vs STO 20:40AS
FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
BUL vs RED 04:10Loftus Versfeld
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
RED vs HUR 17:05SS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
RED vs REB 20:40SS
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
RED vs SHA 20:40SS
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
RED vs CHF 20:40SS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 20:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 6 6 0 0 85 27
Brumbies 6 4 2 0 73 20
Stormers 5 4 1 0 33 16
Chiefs 6 4 2 0 36 19
Sharks 6 3 3 0 5 15
Waratahs 5 3 2 0 24 14
Highlanders 5 3 2 0 4 15
Bulls 5 3 2 0 12 14
View all
 
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