ACT Brumbies sign Folau Faingaa as hooker to bolster Super Rugby squad
Advertisement

ACT Brumbies sign Folau Faingaa as hooker to bolster Super Rugby squad

Folau Faingaa's name suggests he's tailor-made for Australian rugby, but the ACT Brumbies recruit wants to be known for his big hits and set piece rather than a famous moniker.

The nuggety hooker will leave his job as a concreter and join the Brumbies on an extended player squad deal for the 2018 Super Rugby season.

ACT?Brumbies recruit Folau Faingaa.

ACT?Brumbies recruit Folau Faingaa.Credit:Chris Hyde

He will act as a back up to veteran Josh Mann-Rea and Robbie Abel, and is keen to take the first steps in his professional career after previously viewing rugby as "a bit of fun with mates".

Thee 22-year-old usually turns heads before he plays because he boasts a name which sparks the interest of most rugby fans.

Advertisement

To clear things up, he's not related to Saia, Anthony or Colby Faingaa and Israel Folau was just six years old when Folau Faingaa was born.

"Yeah, I do get that a lot. Sometimes I just tell people it's not my real name, it's just my rugby name," Faingaa laughed.

"When a lot of people see my name, they have big expectations. But I'm just a normal bloke.

"It turns a few heads I guess. But I just want to make my own name sort of thing and just enjoy playing my rugby."

Faingaa will move to the capital to join the Canberra Vikings squad for the National Rugby Championships.

The former Australian under-20s rake is tipped as a star of the future, but he admits there was a time when he was happy working as a concreter and playing club rugby.

Playing for the Australian junior side ignited his professional hopes and he trained with the NSW Waratahs for eight weeks last year, but never got to make his Super Rugby debut.

Faingaa thought someone was playing a joke on him when his manager called and told him the Brumbies wanted to meet him.

"I haven't really had a manager before, so I didn't know how it worked and I just didn't believe him," Faingaa said.

"Everything is pretty new to me and that's exciting. It wasn't until we actually went down to Canberra and had a chat with [Brumbies coach] Dan McKellar that it hit me it was real.

"It still hasn't hit me to be honest. I'm still working and laying concrete, so maybe when I stop that it will sink in that I'm going to throw everything into it.

"It's a big change from where I was a few years ago. I was happy to work during the days and go to rugby training with the boys. But I'm ready to give it everything."

McKellar has started building a squad for his first year as a Super Rugby head coach.

Loading

Matt Lucas and Lachlan McCaffrey are also on the radar as recruits, while McKellar is still searching for outside backs to add attacking power to the club.

The Brumbies will also launch their membership campaign next week, but Super Rugby is still waiting on a decision in the arbitration case between the ARU and Western Force before finalising a draw for next year.