Now in just his second season of professional Rugby, such was CHRIS FEAUAI-SAUTIA's promise that he was signed to the Queensland Reds by Ewen McKenzie at just 17 years old.
The now-Wallabies coach McKenzie spotted Feauai-Sautia while he was still playing for Brisbane State High School, signing him to a full-time contract for the following year.
The whippy winger certainly lived up to the hype in his first season, playing just 125 minutes in total for two tries and an average of 11 metres per run.
Feauai-Sautia scored his first try in Super Rugby with his second touch of the football on debut. Twenty-five seconds after coming on the field as a replacement wing, Feauai-Sautia received an inside ball from teammate Mike Harris off the back of a lineout and immediately broke two tackles. He broke the line and offloaded to Will Genia who drew a further two defenders before sending the ball back to Feauai-Sautia to canter over for his first try.
Born in New Zealand to Samoan parents, Feauai-Sautia missed most of the 2012 season due to a hamstring injury, but managed three appearances for the Reds and was named in Australia’s Under 20 side for the Junior World Championship in South Africa.
The 2013 season saw Feauai-Sautia back to almost full health, missing just three games due to injury. In his 13 games for the Reds this season, he continued his damaging running game and was utilised as both a wing and centre. He was unfortunate to miss out on an opportunity to play the British & Irish Lions, with a hamstring injury sidelining him in June.
Feauai-Sautia showed promise for several years prior to his Super Rugby debut and spent three season in the Australian Schools program. He is the equal-most capped Australian Schoolboy in history, tied on 11 caps with Newington College’s Hugh Roach, topping the previous marks of nine held by Wallabies Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale.
A hamstring injury in Brisbane State High School’s final GPS game in July of 2011 robbed Chris of his dream of holding the outright title of Australia’s most-capped Schoolboy as he was forced to sit out both 2011 Tests against England and New Zealand.
FAST FACT: Chris Feauai-Sautia has earned the nickname “Beast Mode” from his Queensland Reds teammates, who liken him to NFL running back Marshawn Lynch.