SA-born twin props make Los Angeles their new home


The LA Giltinis have signed South African-born twins JP and Ruan Smith ahead of the 2021 Major League Rugby season.

According to the RugbyPass website, the Smiths grew up in South Africa before relocating to Australia where they completed their schooling. 

The 30-year-olds represented the Reds in this year’s Super Rugby and Super Rugby AU tournaments.

‘For me, going to the USA has always been a bucket list thing so to get in on the ground floor with a new club in LA makes it very appealing,’ said tighthead prop Ruan of his two-season deal. 

‘JP and I always play our best rugby together. It’s that little boost you get on the field with your brother and it’s a real thing.

‘I’m at a stage of my career where I want to experience something different and spend more time with my family so to be able to play hard and compete for six months a year in MLR is ideal.’

The third season of Major League Rugby was cut short by Covid-19 earlier this year. The league has swelled to 13 teams for next season.

‘A few boys couldn’t work out how they were greeting me on one side of the gym and saying hello to me on the other side as well,’ loosehead prop JP said with a laugh of confusing early days with Ruan at the Reds.

‘Playing with a new club in one of the sporting capitals of the world has massive appeal for me.’

Springbok Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira (Washington DC), All Black Ma’a Nonu (San Diego) and France’s Mathieu Bastareaud (New York) have all featured in the league to date.

Wallabies Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper have been linked to the LA Giltinis which is run by another ex-Wallaby, hooker Adam Freier.

The Smiths currently run a South African meat operation in Australia which specialises in boerewors and biltong. Protection Status


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