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   Jul 13

Anthony Faingaa returns to ACT Brumbies to start and finish career in Canberra

Anthony Faingaa (right) and his Brother Saia Faingaa (left). Photo: Harrison SaragossiAnthony Faingaa says the chance to finish his career where it started lured him back to Canberra, but the Super Rugby championship winner doesn’t want to be a passenger in his ACT Brumbies comeback.
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Faingaa started training with the Brumbies less than a week ago after finishing a stint in Japan and hopes to press his claims for round-one selection.

A stream of videos looms as the 30-year-old’s secret weapon for chasing Brumbies selection, revealing he has watched every training session for the past four months to help his transition.

The Queanbeyan junior says he always had a desire to find a way back to where it all began and insists age will not be a barrier to his hopes of making an impact.

“This is my home. When I started here [in the Brumbies Academy] in 2004, I always wanted to start and finish my career here,” Faingaa said.

“I’ve been lucky to get an opportunity to come back. To be able to do it with Saia is a bonus. I jumped at the opportunity with two hands when [Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham] called.

“It was a big opportunity for me and I just want to make sure I can add to the team and put out good performances.”

Faingaa made his debut for the Brumbies in 2007 before joining the Queensland Reds for 90 games, including a Super Rugby title in 2011.

He left the Reds at the end of last season to join the Kintetsu Liners in Japan, but he had videos of Brumbies training sent to him so he could learn new plays and styles.

It could help fast-track Faingaa’s second coming at the Brumbies, where he will compete with Kyle Godwin for the inside centre job and Tevita Kuridrani for the No. 13 jersey.

“I already know most of the plays, the only thing left for me to do is to get out there and doing it,” Faingaa said.

“I need to just worry about playing football first before I starting going down that selection route.

“I only finished playing rugby two weeks ago, so it’s not like it’s been a long time since I laced up. I can’t wait to get out there and start playing again.

“For the moment I just want to worry about this year. Being in a young team helps you feel young.”

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is still settling on his line-up for the first round of the Super Rugby season.

Wharenui Hawera appears to be the front-runner to take the chief playmaking reins as flyhalf while Lolo Fakaosilea and Rob Valetini are competing for the No. 8 spot.

Jarrad Butler is working his way back from injury but it is not known if he will be to play in the opening round against the Canterbury Crusaders.

Godwin is set to claim the inside centre job while props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa didn’t play any trial matches as they nursed hamstring injuries.

James Dargaville hopes to force his way into contention for a spot on the wing after shoulder surgery kept him out of action for almost five months.

“I’ve just got to keep pushing my case at training. Hopefully I’ve done enough to put myself there, but if not I’ll keep working,” Dargaville said.

“The nature of rugby is that some players move on and others step up, new superstars of rugby are created and we’ve got some young guys that are pushing their claims. It’s a pretty exciting time to be a Brumby.”

SUPER RUGBY ROUND ONE

February 25: Canterbury Crusaders v ACT Brumbies at Christchurch, 5.30pm.

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