Super Rugby title on Vaea’s mind

Date published: December 14 2015

Tonga's Ita Vaea is hoping to force his way in the Brumbies starting XV and help them to a Super Rugby title in 2016.

While Vaea made his Super Rugby debut with the Canberra-based franchise in 2011, a blood clot on his heart forced him out of the game for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

The flanker bounced back from his time on the sidelines in 2015, playing a vital role in getting the Brumbies to the semi-finals of the competition. In 2016, Vaea wants to go one better.

"Everyone wants to win the Super Rugby title," the 26-year-old told the Brumbies website.

"At the moment I'm working hard, getting into shape and good condition. My goal is to do my best and do my part for the team. If we work hard for each other hopefully we will win the Super Rugby next year."

For the first time in many years, Vaea has managed to fully committ to his pre-season training in preparation for a taxing season.

"I came really late last year, so I was chasing my feet trying to keep up my fitness until January," he added.

"This year I'm having a full pre-season and I’m enjoying every single moment of it. I feel way better now than I did last year so I’m really looking forward to the Super Rugby season."

On a personal note, Vaea recently picked up the Rugby Union Players' Association NRC Players' Player award. His club, the University of Canberra Vikings, also honoured him wuith a Player's Player award.

"It was kind of a surprise to be honest," said a grinning Vaea.

"When I was filling out the form with all the boys I didn't see my name, even though some of the boys said they did.

"It was a very big surprise, I didn’t think I was going to win it but it was good. I'm definitely very happy to win it."

The Brumbies kick-off their 2016 Super Rugby season at home against the Hurricanes on February 26.