Brumbies sign former Queensland Reds fullback Tom Banks

Brumbies sign former Queensland Reds fullback Tom Banks

The ACT Brumbies might be a young, rebuilding team, but recruit Tom Banks just sees that as an opportunity for the taking.

Banks signed a one-year deal with the Brumbies on Thursday and will begin the 15-hour drive to Canberra on Friday to try to add to his two Super Rugby games.

Fullback Tom Banks hopes to get more Super Rugby game-time after signing with the Brumbies.

Fullback Tom Banks hopes to get more Super Rugby game-time after signing with the Brumbies.Credit:Getty Images

He made his Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in 2015 and added his second cap this year.

The Brumbies have lost a plethora of experience with Wallabies captain Stephen Moore joining the Reds, David Pocock having a sabbatical, Matt Toomua in England and Christian Lealiifano diagnosed with leukaemia.


While that has many tipping the Brumbies to slide down the Super Rugby ladder in 2017, 22-year-old Banks saw it as an opportunity to establish himself at the elite level.

He impressed the Brumbies coaching staff with his efforts in this year's National Rugby Championship playing for Queensland Country, where he scored a brace of tries against the Canberra Vikings.

"In a young team there's a lot of opportunities there. Obviously everyone in training is really willing to learn and everyone goes harder to an extent, everyone's really keen to get into it, which I think is the best thing about a young team," Banks said.

"Obviously a lot of opportunities there, but there's still a bit of experience and the mix of the two works really well together."

He'll be vying with another former Red in Aidan Toua for the fullback role, after Toua joined the Brumbies ahead of last season.

The pair spent a season together with the Reds, before Toua headed overseas to play for French club Agen.

Banks will also be linking up with a mate from school and will live with flanker Lolo Fakaosilea, who signed a two-year deal ahead of the 2017 season, until he finds a place of his own.

Banks said he can also play on the wing, but he sees himself primarily as a fullback.

Despite the departure of Joe Tomane to France, the Brumbies have plenty of cover on the wings with Henry Speight, Nigel Ah Wong, James Dargaville and Lausii Taliauli.

"There's Aidan down there, he's a quality footballer so I'll just go down there and learn from him and the other backs," Banks said.

"Hopefully do well in pre-season and go from there."

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said Banks was one of a "number of players" who were looking to impress ahead of next season.

"Tom has the ideal attributes we look for in a Brumbies player. He is young, strong in defence and attack and hungry to make his mark at the Super Rugby level," he said.

"I am sure that the Brumbies fans will enjoy following Tom's development with interest. He joins a number of players who are ready to impress in 2017."

Meanwhile, reigning Super Rugby champions Wellington Hurricanes announced on Thursday they will be playing their Anzac clash against the Brumbies at McLean Park in Napier on April 21.

Ironically, it comes after the introduction of direct international flights between Canberra and Wellington, turning a potentially quick trip back into a long one.

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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