Wallabies hooker Saia Fainga’a is making the most of the Test lifeline he has received and wants to play at next year’s World Cup.
Wallabies hooker Saia Fainga’a is making the most of the lifeline he has received in the Test arena and is motivated to play at next year’s World Cup in England.
After battling to win a place in the Reds’ starting line-up during their Super Rugby campaign earlier this year, Fainga’a’s fortunes have changed and he is now Australia’s first-choice hooker after injuries to Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Nathan Charles opened the door for him.
The 27-year-old believes his unexpected recall and the birth of his daughter Sienna in September has given him a new perspective on his position for the Wallabies.
“I’m enjoying it and loving playing … I’ve been home for 10 days with my daughter and been away for almost three months [since Sienna was born],” Fainga’a told Rugby Heaven.
“My fiancee is doing it pretty tough at home, but that makes the green-and-gold jersey even more special being away. It gives balance [to my life].
“Rugby is No.1 but we need balance with family life.”
Fainga’a expects an intense scrum battle against France in Paris on Saturday as les Bleus are out for revenge after their 3-0 series defeat to the Wallabies in June.
The Wallabies are set to take only three hookers to next year’s World Cup in England. Moore, Polota-Nau and Charles were Australia’s leading hookers before they succumbed to the team’s injury crisis.
But Fainga’a and back-up hookers James Hanson and Josh Mann-Rea have a chance to stake their claims for the World Cup squad by impressing on this tour.
And Fainga’a revealed that the Wallabies forwards want to show they aren’t vulnerable in the set-piece against les Bleus.
“It’s all about consistency … we know that the French team primarily base their game around the scrum,” he added.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in making sure we don’t have nine good games and one bad one.”