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Former Brumby comes of age on international stage

Date

Ben Horne

Sitaleki Timani of the Wallabies gets tackled by Duane Vermeulen of the Springboks on Saturday night.

Sitaleki Timani of the Wallabies gets tackled by Duane Vermeulen of the Springboks on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images

If you'd followed Sitaleki Timani's journey through three Super Rugby franchises you could never have predicted what a profound loss the giant lock will be for the Wallabies this week against Argentina.

Man of the match in Australia's 26-19 win over South Africa in Perth on Saturday night, it was fitting that Timani starred in a city where he was unwanted back in 2008.

Despite his obvious physical attributes, Timani was shown the door at the Western Force after just three appearances. He failed to get much of a look in at the ACT Brumbies over the next two seasons either.

The Tongan-born powerhouse has called the NSW Waratahs home since 2011, but even then he's mostly been consigned to the reserves bench.

In what was a disappointing start for Australia in the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, Timani was the one shining light - his significant presence included putting a rattling shot on All Blacks intimidator Sonny Bill Williams.

Timani will miss the clash with Argentina on the Gold Coast due to a low-grade hamstring strain. There's an argument to say his impact will be as heavily missed as skipper Will Genia (knee), and that explains what a revelation the 25-year-old has been.

''Probably his route [to Test level has been most impressive]. He's been at three franchises and none of them have opted to start him routinely, which astounds me,'' coach Robbie Deans said. ''But he's shown he's more than ready for that. He's looking more and more comfortable in that role. And when he gets comfortable, as you saw, he's got some obvious physical attributes that he brings to the game.''

Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe said Timani's power game was unique for an Australian forward.

''It's not often that guys come straight into Test football and pick that up, sometimes it does take a little bit of time and I think Sita's a guy who has found his niche there and maybe playing a role that's not so traditional for an Australian second-rower,'' Sharpe said. AAP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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