- 25 Age
- 106kg Weight
- 178cm Height
A dynamic, thickset and powerful No.2, Folau Fainga’a has long been in Dave Rennie’s calculations. Fainga’a made a strong impression on then national coach Michael Cheika back 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 footy 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 third Bledisloe Cup Test in 2017. 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.
The following season he made his provincial debut 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 and the reward was selection to his first Rugby World Cup.
In 2020 Fainga’a continued to capitalise from the Brumbies lineout superiority as he led the competition stats and even scored the opening try in the sides Super Rugby final. Fainga'a also became just the fourth player to score more than 10 tries in successive Super Rugby seasons.
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.
Fainga’a earned five caps, four of which came during The Rugby Championship and the fifth in the Rugby World Cup pool match against Uruguay.