Toby Smith will trade Melbourne for Wellington in 2018, having signed a two year deal with the Hurricanes.
The Rebels prop, who was born in North Queensland but raised in Hamilton, New Zealand, will head back over the ditch, having won two titles during a four year tenure with the Chiefs.
He signed with Melbourne for the 2014 Super Rugby season and immediately impressed, making his Wallabies debut against USA in Chicago in 2015 and featuring in the run to the final at the Rugby World Cup in that same year.
This move, however, will rule him out of 2019 World Cup calculations.In a statement on the Hurricanes website, Smith said he would be forever grateful for his time in Melbourne but looked forward to being close to his young son.
“I’ll always be grateful for my time in Australia and I have really enjoyed playing for the Melbourne Rebels, but when the opportunity to play for the Hurricanes came up it was very appealing to me,” Smith said.
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“To play for a team with such a proud history and from everything I’ve heard a great culture, while also being closer to my young son is something I’m very excited about.
“I’m looking forward to moving to Wellington later in the year, meeting everyone, and getting stuck into pre-season training.”Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said Smith would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club.
“Toby has a long and accomplished career that has already included nearly 100 Super Rugby caps, 50 matches for Waikato and a Rugby World Cup campaign with Australia.
“That sort of experience is a valuable asset for any team and we’re looking forward to his input from next season.”