Reds bolster pack for 2009 Super 14


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The Reds have bolstered their pack with a hit-headed lock from Sydney who had a dust up with Wallaby front rower Matt Dunning earlier this season.

The sigining is aimed at going some way towards filling the gap that has been created after the retirement of former Reds captain John Roe.

Adam Byrnes, 27, has signed a two year deal and will go to work for them almost immediately as he will fly out with the Reds development squad on their their four-game tour of Ireland and France later this month.

The Reds have also shored up their prop stocks following the loss of former Wallaby Rodney Blake (Bayonne) and Ben Coutts (Mont de Marsan) to French clubs.

Sydney University’s Laurie Weeks has signed for two years while ACT Brumbies development squad member Jack Kennedy has verbally agreed to the same term.

The duo will blend with World Cup member Greg Holmes, 2008 discovery Dayna Edwards and young blood Ben Daley as the front-row starch in coach Phil Mooney’s rebuilding plans.

“With John Roe’s retirement we’re probably only looking to fill two back-row spots and a position in the outside backs,” Mooney told the Courier Mail.

“We’re definitely looking for Adam Byrnes to push for a starting spot. He’s athletic, aggressive and has the work ethic we’re after.”

The 2m lock played two seasons with Irish club Leinster before his return to Sydney late last year which saw him being selected in this year’s Junior Waratahs squad.

It was during opposed training against the NSW pack in February that he came to grips with Dunning and Wallaby lock Dan Vickerman.

The Reds development squad will play matches against Connacht, Ulster, Leinster and French second division club Nice and they are hoping that the tour will help mold vital combinations for a squad that has undergone a major overhaul.

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