The Brumbies have announced that they have signed Reds and Wallabies hooker Saia Fainga’a on a one-year deal for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
Fainga’a was born and bred in Queanbeyan before joining the Brumbies Academy at age 14. A student of famed ACT Rugby nursery St Edmunds’ College, Fainga’a was a member of the 2003 and 2004 Australian Schoolboy teams and was a standout for the Australian U19 side in the 2005 and 2006 World Championship campaigns.
Fainga’a made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies in 2006 against the Stormers in Cape Town at the age of just 19. Later that year he went on to captain the Australian U19 side to the World Championship title in Dubai.
After 27 appearances for the Brumbies between 2006 and 2008, Fainga’a and twin brother Anthony signed on with the Queensland Reds for the 2009 season. Since then he has gone on to make 98 appearances for the Reds and was a key member of the side’s 2011 Super Rugby Championship-winning side.
Fainga’a was first selected for the Wallabies in 2010, and made his national debut in front of friends and family in Canberra against Fiji. He has since made 36 appearances for Australia.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham, who played alongside Fainga’a in 2006 and 2007 said he is looking forward to working with Fainga’a again in 2017.
“It’s very pleasing that Saia wants to return to the Brumbies,” Larkham told the Brumbies’ official website.
“When he was a teenager, he had all the characteristics of a world-class player and after more than 120 Super Rugby games he is still playing with that level of intensity which is great to see.
“With Stephen Moore returning to the Reds next year there was obviously a gap we needed to fill in our squad and I think Saia is a perfect fit.
“His aggression, low tackles and fervor at the breakdown will definitely be of great benefit to us next season.”
Fainga’a, who has made eight appearances in 2016 for the Reds is pleased to have signed with the Brumbies for 2017.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Reds but equally am looking forward to returning to where it all began for me over a decade ago,” he said.
“My focus right now is this season however I’m very glad to have my future sorted for next year.”