Rugby Union

Brumbies recruit Aidan Toua hoping to fill Jesse Mogg's boots

When one of the biggest names in Australian rugby comes calling, you "can't really say no, can you".

Wallabies great Stephen Larkham contacted Aidan Toua  to see if the former Queensland Reds outside back was interested in leaving French club Agen to return to Super Rugby.

Aidan Toua wants to establish himself as the Brumbies fullback.
Aidan Toua wants to establish himself as the Brumbies fullback. Photo: Jamila Toderas

It was an offer too good for Toua to not take seriously, although he had to do some sweet talking with Agen given he was only halfway through a two-year deal and he'd just helped the second-division club gain promotion to France's Top 14.

But if Larkham's reputation wasn't enough, Toua had Wallabies centre Matt Toomua, with whom he played schoolboys rugby in Queensland, to ask about the Brumbies' set-up.

Toua was born in Papua New Guinea and moved to Brisbane when he was 12 to go to Anglican Church Grammar School.

Injury meant he managed just 10 caps with the Reds in four seasons of Super Rugby and he moved to France because he needed a change.

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"I got a call from my agent and he said he'd just gotten in touch with [Larkham] and he asked if I was interested in coming back to Australian rugby and that's what got the ball rolling," Toua said.

"I think when 'Bernie' Larkham shows some interest you can't really say no, can you.

"When I got the initial interest I hopped on Facebook and asked [Toomua]  who's still hanging around and blah bah blah.

"He can't fault the place. He's obviously been here for eight or nine years and he's really grown as a footy player."

Larkham said Toua could play anywhere "from 13 to wing to fullback".

He said it was too early to say where he would slot into the Brumbies backline, but there would be good competition in the outside backs – including between Toua and utility Robbie Coleman, both of whom can play at fullback. 

"[Toua]'s an outside back that can cover anything from 13 to wing to fullback. We're pretty excited to have him on our books," Larkham said. 

"We were very lucky to get him and we'll just wait and see how he fits into the bigger picture, how he fits into the backline.

"He's very quick, he's obviously played at the top level here in Australia before.

"He's a left-foot kicker and I think he reads the game really well and he's got some good aggression."

Larkham got a close-up glimpse of what the 25-year-old was capable of last year when he scored a sensational try for the Reds at Canberra Stadium in the Super Rugby 2014 season opener.

Toua got the ball inside his own half, broke a Henry Speight tackle and then showed his electrifying speed to burst through the Brumbies line and score virtually untouched.

"I guess little things like that in front of Bernie last year kept me on the radar a bit, I was just lucky," he said.

Toua's hoping to fill departed fullback Jesse Mogg's big left boot and the No.15 jersey.

He plans to play as much of the National Rugby Championship as he can for the Canberra Vikings.

Toua played a full season with Agen in France and said he'd overcome his injury problems from his Reds days, which included a torn pectoral muscle.

"I think fullback's the reason I came down. Obviously Moggy's going over to France so I'd say I've got pretty big boots to fill," he said.

"He's got a long boot on him. I think that's where Bernie sees me."

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