Rugby Union

Matt Toomua and Aidan Toua enjoy schoolboys reunion for Brumbies' Super Rugby campaign

They used to skip school together, cut each other's hair into "mohawk mullets" and Aidan Toua would regularly stay over at Matt Toomua's house in Brisbane.

Now they're back as roommates for one season as the ACT Brumbies look to end their 12-year Super Rugby title drought, with the campaign beginning against the Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

Thick as thieves: Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua and playmaker Matt Toomua.
Thick as thieves: Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua and playmaker Matt Toomua. Photo: Jamila Toderas

While they went to different schools, the pair played schoolboy rugby together from year 10 onwards. Originally, they were both five-eighths, but a desire to have the pair in the same team led to Toua switching to fullback - a move that has stuck until now.

After high school, Toua joined the Queensland Reds where he played 10 games before he moved to France to play for Agen. ​Meanwhile, Toomua has been plying his trade for the Brumbies with 76 Super Rugby appearances.

But Toua's signing has brought the pair together again before Toomua heads to English club Leicester at the end of the season.

Toomua was the first person Toua contacted when the Brumbies showed some interest. Toua found plenty of other familiar faces at the Brumbies - Blake Enever and Jarrad Butler were both at the Reds with him, while he also knows Ruan Smith from his time living in Brisbane.

He played schoolboy rugby with Joe Tomane and under-20s with Scott Sio.

While Toomua has developed into one of the Brumbies leaders, Toua joked he wasn't always the best influence.

"Our schools were in the same district and I was actually a [No.]10 at school and when it got to the rep stuff they wanted us both in the team, so [they said], 'Why don't you try and play fullback' and I stayed there, it suited me a bit more, a bit less pressure," Toua said.

"[We were] always really good mates. I boarded at my school, so whenever there was any rep stuff on I always stayed with Matty, stayed at his parents' house, so we have a pretty close relationship.

"He was a pretty bad influence on me because he never really went to school and he would message me, 'Hey, me and so and so are going here, do you want to skip school and come with me?'"

Toomua said the pair had already chatted about how it was funny where life took you and although they'd gone their separate ways, they were back in the same team again.

"He used to come over a lot and I used to sometimes pick him up from school and if we didn't like English we might skip English, but I probably shouldn't say that - kids stay in school - but it was good fun," Toomua said.

"We spent a lot of time together when we were younger. We used to cut each other's hair and dye each other's hair - all things that you really don't want to admit at the moment.

"We were just laughing about where life takes you. He's gone to France and back and I've stayed in Canberra for a while, but the journey it takes you - we're kind of rooming together. It's nice to have an old friend there."

Injuries have limited Toua's career so far, but he's confident that's in the past and he trained the hardest he ever has during the pre-season.

"It's been awesome. I can't thank the [strength-and-conditioning] staff enough," he said. "They've monitored and slowly built me up to a level where the two weeks after New Years - I'd never trained that hard in my life, never hit the distances that I had.

"My body is feeling really good and just really looking forward to getting the season going."