Twins Ruan and JP Smith have had a tough road to redemption at the Brumbies.

Twins Ruan and JP Smith have had a tough road to redemption at the Brumbies. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Brumbies twins Ruan and Jean-Pierre Smith feared they would be sacked following their involvement in a bar fight which threatened to derail their Super Rugby careers.

But the front-row brothers have spent the past six months trying to earn back respect through community service, psychology meetings and taking on extra responsibility to resurrect their goals.

Ruan and Jean-Pierre will play against each other for the first time when the Brumbies run out in their pre-season trial against the ACT XV at Viking Park on Saturday.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the fight at O'Connor pub The Duxton in August last year, the Smiths revealed the night out almost cost them their careers.

As part of their attempt to redeem themselves, Ruan and Jean-Pierre, 24, have been doing community hours at Ainslie Primary School to help students read and write.

''We thought that was it. I will never forget the feeling, we thought it was the end of it for us,'' Ruan said.

''We have to prove ourselves again, to our teammates and to everyone. We are sorry for what happened and we've apologised.

''But an apology doesn't cut it, we must prove to everyone that it won't happen again. You can't take it for granted, it will be gone in an instant.''

The Brumbies came down hard on the duo, despite both being on the fringes and Jean-Pierre only starting his extended player squad contract this year.

Their punishment was a stance to keep team culture and standards intact and they have been working to try to regain respect.

The fight involved up to 15 people and police were called, but no charges were laid.

Ruan was fined by the club and told to complete 20 hours of community service. JP was given 50 hours of community service.

The Brumbies also ordered the Smiths to:

  • Cancel an overseas holiday.
  • Both complete anger management courses.
  • Send written apologies to the venue and the hosts of the party.
  • Work with the Rugby Union Players' Association psychology unit and regularly visit the Brumbies' chaplin.

They spend Wednesday afternoons at Ainslie Primary School, helping students read, write and build self-confidence.

Ruan has finished his community service hours, but both want to continue at the school until at least the end of the Super Rugby season.

''We're fortunate to get a second chance, we almost ruined our whole careers. We didn't just disappoint ourselves, we disappointed everyone,'' Jean-Pierre said.

''We messed up and we had to face that, take it like a man and try to fix what we've done wrong.

''We've loved working at Ainslie. Working with the kids puts it in perspective, helping them learn to read and building their self-esteem puts it in perspective. We're hungry to make up for what we did.''

Extended squad player Jean-Pierre was one of only a few players to complete every pre-season session for the Brumbies.

Jean-Pierre will start in the ACT XV front row against the Brumbies in the trial match on Saturday night.

Brother Ruan will play the second half for the Brumbies, setting up a family contest for the first time.

Ruan played eight games last season and the 121-kilogram front-rower earned praise for his barnstorming performance against the British and Irish Lions in June.

Jean-Pierre is aiming to make his Super Rugby debut this season.

''Since we started playing footy, we have always been in the same team but we always knew this time would come,'' Ruan said.

''I waited a long time to get my shot last year and that's made me want to achieve more this year.

''We've learnt a massive lesson from everything we've been through. We are sorry and we want to make up for it.''

SUPER RUGBY TRIAL

Saturday: ACT Brumbies v ACT XV at Viking Park, 7pm. Entry is free.

Brumbies starting XV: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Leon Power, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. David Pocock, 8. Ben Mowen, 9. Nic White, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Joseph Tomane, 12. Harumichi Tatekawa, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Jesse Mogg.