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Wallabies call up Saia Faingaa after injury to Tolu Latu

Date

Adrian Warren

Grappling: Saia Faingaa, who has been called up to the Wallabies squad, tries to bring down Adam Ashley-Cooper in Brisbane last month.

Grappling: Saia Faingaa, who has been called up to the Wallabies squad, tries to bring down Adam Ashley-Cooper in Brisbane last month. Photo: Getty Images

Experienced Queensland Reds rake Saia Faingaa has been called into the Wallabies squad after an injury to Tolu Latu further depleted Australia's thinning hooking stocks.

Latu was forced out of the squad after breaking an arm in a Sydney club game on the weekend.

He joins Australia's two most senior hookers Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau on the casualty list heading into the first Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship game against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday.

Although technically the third choice player in the position, 27-year-old Faingaa has far more caps than the combined tally of the players ahead of him.

He has played 29 Tests, though only seven as a starter, while mooted starter Nathan Charles earned his first two caps off the bench in the recent series against France.

James Hanson, the other hooker previously named in the squad, made his only Test appearance as a substitute against he All Blacks in 2012.

Prop Sekope Kepu was confident Charles and Hanson had the goods to take on the formidable New Zealand pack despite their lack of international experience.

"It's not like you're pulling guys that haven't played at Super Rugby level and guys like Hanson and Charles played massive amounts of games this year and credit to them they've played really well," he said.

"It's their chance to step up to the plate.

"I've no doubt they are looking forward to soaking up the occasion and taking the opportunity."

Kepu wouldn't be surprised if the All Blacks targeted Charles.

"I'm sure they will look at that and as much as they might focus on us, our focus is on ourselves," Kepu said.

"It's all about challenges and I'm sure the pack is up for this weekend. We're pretty excited."

AAP

6 comments so far

  • Good move. Saia Faingaa can be real animal if he can keep his error rate down. Especially when he's got something to really prove. Which is that he isn't as bad as Richard Graham's career killing coaching at the Reds has made him look. By golly Australian rugby has some serious depth !

    Commenter
    johnny-boy
    Date and time
    August 11, 2014, 4:09PM
    • Yeah right our scrum is gonna get thumped and our attacking lineout smothered.

      Commenter
      Nato
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 11, 2014, 10:52PM
  • Apart from johnny-boy's usual sparkling sarcasm, I agree that one of the biggest elephants in the room is why, oh why was Richard Graham employed by Queensland after bombing in Perth? One giant mystery. I wish I had that much help getting a good job.

    Commenter
    FredClark
    Location
    Dulwich Hill
    Date and time
    August 11, 2014, 7:49PM
    • He is not the only "mystery" job in pro rugby. Given his track record and the fact that the Qsquad will be depleted next year, why are they keeping him?

      One of the best coaches Australia has produced and one of the smartest is sitting on his hands in Brisbane. Duncan Hall! Martin Johnson wrote in his book the Hall was the best coach he ever had. He said that he learned something new or improved at every training Hall coached. Not bad from a champion player. Do why is Hall not at least an assistant/forwards coach.

      Commenter
      Hammer
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      August 11, 2014, 8:53PM
  • Your right JB , a real animal , a turtle .

    Commenter
    Mankad
    Location
    Up in Palmerland ?
    Date and time
    August 12, 2014, 1:06AM
    • Let's hear more about Duncan Hall. Let's have a potted mini-bio of him. I am sure he is a good coach, as you say, so let's learn a bit more. What do you know? Can you write a couple of paragraphs about him? Thanks.

      Commenter
      FredClark
      Location
      Dulwich Hill
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 10:19AM

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