Folau Fainga'a

  • 28Age
  • 178cmHeight
  • 106kgWeight
Wallaby Number923
Date Of BirthMay 5, 1995
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolMatraville Sports High School & The Hills Sports High School, Seven Hills
Debut ClubUniversity (Sydney)
ProvinceWestern Force
Debut Test Match2018 2nd Test vs. New Zealand, Auckland
Rugby World Cups2019
Other ProvinceACT

Folau Fainga’a (FY-ing-AR-ar) 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.

Both dynamic and powerful, 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 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. Fainga’a didn’t even start that 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 and the reward was selection to his first Rugby World Cup. A year later Fainga’a continued to find the chalk and he became just the fourth player - back or forward - to score more than 10 tries in successive SR seasons. In 2022, Fainga’a became the first Wallaby forward this century to top the season’s Test try scoring list on an outright basis.


2015 Represented Australia U20s at the Junior World Championships in Italy.

2018 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.

2019 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.

2020 In a COVID-shortened season, Fainga’a played four of the Wallabies’ six Tests with his lone start coming in the 16-16 draw against New Zealand at Wellington.

2021 Queensland’s Brandon Paenga-Amosa was the starting hooker for the year’s first five internationals before a neck injury saw him miss the third match against New Zealand. That injury opened the way for Fainga’a to return to the squad and he took the opportunity with both hands to be capped in all nine of the remaining Tests, the first eight as the run-on number two.

2022 Fainga’a picked up a career high 13 caps from the season’s 14 matches, predominantly as a replacement behind Dave Porecki

Folau Fainga'a Wallabies Headshot 2022