The Tumut Bulls have pulled off a major off-season coup by re-signing star fullback Josef Glamuzina.
The Kiwi custodian was a standout performer in his inaugural SIRU season in 2017, helping the Bulls to a finals tilt.
A hamstring injury curtailed his effectiveness late in the year and when he departed home for New Zealand the Bulls were unsure of whether he’d return.
He’d indicated to officials he’d attempt to earn a place in one of New Zealand’s highly competitive regional teams, while always keeping the door open to return to Tumut.
The Bulls recruitment team continued to keep the lines of communication open with their star and this week he rang to inform them he was keen to return here.
The news has been met with delight by Bulls fans, players and officials.
He’s recognised as being among the best players in the competition, and at his best has the ability to elevate the team to being a genuine premiership contender.
Glamuzina was one point away from claiming the prized Bill Castle Medal last year and was a SIRU representative player.
He’ll join fellow Kiwi recruit Vaughn Scott, who has slotted in well since arriving in town.
Scott produced some handy performances throughout the Tumut Pub 9s competition and will fill a role in the outside backs.
A couple of weeks out from a season-start against Rivcoll, Tumut appears well placed to improve on their fourth-placed finish last season.
They’ve retained the bulk of their forward pack and added rugged youngster George Hassett to their ranks.
With Glamuzina’s inclusion, the backline has a particularly potent look. Pivot Harrison Friswell should be even better in 2018 than last year, while veteran Joe Reynolds will also return.
Premiers Leeton and perennial heavyweight Waratahs are again being tipped as the teams to beat.
Wagga City, the side that knocked the Bulls out of the finals, have lost a couple of their key figures to Group 9 outfit Brothers.
Monson Tuvale, who destroyed the Bulls in that elimination final, has headed to the rival Wagga league outfit, and so too has strike centre Keifer Power.