Mayhew swaps Blues for Brumbies

The Brumbies front row stocks have received a boost for 2017, with talented prop Nic Mayhew signing a one-year deal with the club.

Mayhew was born in Auckland and has played 11 matches for the Blues over his first two seasons in Super Rugby.

The 27-year old can represent England, New Zealand and Australia due to his father being born in the UK and his late grand father in Australia. His father, John, was the All Blacks’ team doctor for 13 years.

The loosehead prop started out with Northcote Rugby Club and graduated to North Harbour’s Development Squad in 2010, earning his first ITM Cup cap for the team that same year. Mayhew left for England to link with Premiership side, Harlequins, in 2011 following recommendation from former All Black Craig Dowd.

After injury limited Mayhew’s game time with Harlequins in England’s top flight, he returned to North Harbour for the 2014 ITM Cup where his impressive performances earned him a call up to the Blues Super Rugby squad.

After debuting against the Hurricanes in 2015, Mayhew has continued his development with both the Blues and North Harbour and says he is very happy to be making the move to Australia to link with the Brumbies.

“I’m very much looking forward to linking with the current Australian Conference Champions,” Mayhew told the Brumbies' official website.

“Being able to work alongside international props such as Scott Sio, Ben Alexander and Allan Alaalatoa will really push me each week.

“The Brumbies set-piece is one of the best in Super Rugby and under the guidance of their coaching staff, I really think I can take my game to a new level.

“I played against the Brumbies earlier this year and really respect their style of play.

“The goal for me is to continue to improve my game and contribute to the team however I can, so I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity with the Brumbies.”

Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham is pleased Mayhew has agreed to join the club.

“He’s a solid player with good talent at the set-piece, defensively he’s very strong as well,” said Larkham.

“He’s come through a tough development program at the Blues and North Harbour and has shown over the past two seasons of Super Rugby that he is ready for the next step in his career.

Mayhew's move to the Brumbies offsets the loss of prop Ruan Smith who posted on social media that he has made the decision not to return to the Canberra-based ide in 2017.

Smith is currently in Japan, playing his second season with Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese Top League.

The 26-year old debuted for the Brumbies in 2013 against the Waratahs and has gone on to make 51 appearances for the side. He also played two Super Rugby matches for the Western Force in 2012.

Smith's social media post said: “Today has been hard for me. I made the decision that I won’t be returning to Canberra next year.”

“I would like to thank everyone involved in my journey. I will cherish every memory made in Canberra.

“Thanks to all the supporters that made it special for me. Canberra and the Brumbies will always be a big part of my life and will always be thankful for the opportunity the organisation game me.

“It’s hard when you have to walk away from the only thing you know, but I’m walking away with a happy heart knowing it was the best time of my life … it’s now time for the next chapter.

“Once again, thanks so much. Brumbies family forever….”