- 24 Age
- 106kg Weight
- 178cm Height
Folau Fainga’a bears a name that many a fan would think is custom made for success in international rugby. However, the Sydney-born hooker bears no relation to star fullback Israel Folau, nor the twin Wallaby brothers Saia and Anthony Fainga’a. A dynamic and powerful No.2 of good size, Fainga’a made a strong impression on national coach Michael Cheika in 2014 when he was a member of the Waratahs' U20s. At the time Fainga’a was happy working as a concreter and playing club rugby however his subsequent selection for the Australian U20s in 2015 ignited his professional hopes and he trained with the senior Waratahs for eight weeks.
Two seasons in the National Rugby Championship with the Sydney Stars and then the 2016 runners-up, the NSW Country Eagles, were followed by a surprise call-up to the Wallaby camp ahead of the 2017 3rd Bledisloe Cup Test. At that time Fainga’a, while signed to an extended playing squad contract for the 2018 season with the Brumbies, had not played a single match of Super Rugby. Fainga’a didn’t even start this season as the Brumbies' first choice hooker however a horror hamstring injury to Josh Mann-Rea provided an opening that he gladly accepted. Fainga’a debuted off the bench against the Rebels and a little over five months later ran on to Eden Park for his maiden Test.
In 2019 Fainga’a starred during the Super Rugby season as the Brumbies near unstoppable rolling maul paved the way for him to equal Malcolm Marx’s record of 12 tries for a forward. As a result the young hooker is primed for both The Rugby Championship and a potential first Rugby World Cup.
Represented Australia U20s at the Junior World Championships in Italy.
Fainga’a won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Tatafu Polota-Nau at hooker in the 2nd Test, 12-40 defeat to New Zealand at Eden Park. He had his first start in the run-on XV in the 12-23 loss to South Africa at Port Elizabeth. Fainga’a finished the season with a total of seven Test caps to his name.