The ACT Brumbies have scoured to Wales to fill a void in their forward pack and they've come up with a versatile back-rower born an hour down the road in Goulburn.
The Canberra Times can reveal the Brumbies have snared the signature of Welsh-qualified lock Ed Kennedy ahead of the first instalment of Super Rugby Pacific in 2022.
Brumbies officials say Goulburn-born Kennedy is serving a stint of quarantine having been plying his trade for Scarlets in the Pro14 competition over the past three years.
Prior to that the 26-year-old had spent four years with Randwick in the Shute Shield and made a lone appearance for the Sydney Rays in the NRC.
Now he returns home to realise a boyhood ambition with the club he grew up supporting.
"It's a dream come true to be coming home to Australia to join the Brumbies," Kennedy said.
"Growing up in Goulburn, my family and I were massive fans of the club so to have this opportunity after three great years in Wales is amazing and one I'm very grateful for.
"Speaking to Dan [McKellar] and Laurie [Fisher] around the culture at the club and the role I can play for the team, I'm just so excited for this opportunity and I can't wait to get going in pre-season."
Kennedy stands at 196 centimetres tall and played both lock and blindside flanker for the Welsh province during his three years abroad.
He adds versatility to a Brumbies squad which already boasts locks Wallaby Darcy Swain, who is aiming for a return from a foot injury against South Africa this week, as well as Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Frost and Tom Hooper.
"Ed will be a great addition to our squad for this upcoming season," McKellar said.
"Ed's a valuable type of player, good at lineout, dynamic around the park with the ability to play both blindside flanker and at lock, and with his age and experience, he's physically mature and ready to go.
"Being from Goulburn, Ed grew up supporting the Brumbies and as a club we're excited to see him push his case for an opportunity to pull on the jersey next year."
The Brumbies were due to return to club headquarters for pre-season training on September 20 for a three-week block of training before a period of annual leave ahead of the official start of pre-season training in November.
But those plans could be changed with the ACT and surrounding areas still in lockdown. The ACT's lockdown is due to end this Friday but could yet be extended by Chief Minister Andrew Barr as the government takes tentative steps to avoid a larger outbreak of COVID-19.
ACT Rugby officials are anxiously awaiting the ACT government's roadmap to life after lockdown as they prepare to make a call on senior competitions this week.
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