Reds add to their stock of locks with young giants
THE Queensland Reds are assembling the tallest forwards force in the country with today's signing of Australian Under-20s locks Harry Hockings and Angus Blyth.
The 2.06m Hockings, 18, is seen as one of the future building blocks of the club because he has signed a three-year deal, rare for one so young.
He is a beanpole of 113kg right now, but he joins an already lofty stock of locks with the 2.02m Izack Rodda, 1.98m Lukhan Tui and 2015 World Cup Wallaby Kane Douglas, a mature 2.02m figure, already on the books.
Blyth, 19, measures 2.04m and hails from the same nursery at The Southport School that produced Rob Simmons, the 71-Test Wallaby who has been released for next season to make possible this generational change in the second-row in the Reds squad.
The re-signing of former Brisbane Bronco Caleb Timu also has been announced. He is on board for another season in the backrow after making solid progress for his club Souths this year from major knee surgery.
Blyth and the Proserpine-born Hockings, the kid brother of former Western Force forward Tom, are both products of the Queensland Rugby pathway as members of the undefeated Queensland Under-20s side.
"It's good to add further depth to our forward stocks for the 2018 season and beyond," Reds coach Nick Stiles said.
"Caleb's got a lot of promise. He's a big body (at 108kg), he moves really well and at only 23 years old we're yet to see him realise his full potential on a rugby field.
"We've been impressed with the way he's applied himself to ensure he's ready to make the most of his opportunities when he finally makes his Super Rugby debut.
"Angus and Harry are two young locks who have come through the Queensland pathway. They've been strong contributors to the Queensland and Australian Under-20s programs and we're looking forward to seeing how they progress as they transition into the Reds squad."
The Reds already have several of the top Australian Under-20s products on their books with flyhalf Hamish Stewart, winger Izaia Perese and backrower Angus Scott-Young at the club.
A move should be made on classy flanker Liam Wright, 19, as well because he produced some eye-catching moments of class in Georgia for the Under-20s and has more size at 1.93m than has been seen in an Australian openside flanker for years.