Brumbies sign Faingaa as Moore replacement

Super Rugby
Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

The Brumbies have secured a replacement for Wallabies captain Stephen Moore with Reds hooker Saia Faingaa signing a one-year deal for the 2017 season.

The veteran of 36 Wallaby caps will return to Canberra after eight seasons in Queensland, a stint that included the Super Rugby title in 2011.

Fainga'a won a Super Rugby title with the Reds in 2011. Photo: Getty Images

It will be a welcome return home for the 27-year old after joining the Brumbies Academy at just 14 years old, before going on to play 27 times for senior side.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Reds but equally am looking forward to returning to where it all began for me over a decade ago,” Fainga’a said.

“My focus right now is this season however I’m very glad to have my future sorted for next year.”

Faingaa is currently out of action with a foot injury but has largely played second fiddle to rising star Andrew Ready so far in 2016.

His arrival welcomed by Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham, who has been on the hunt for a hooker since Stephen Moore’s shock defection to Queensland back in December.

Fainga'a played 27 times for the Brumbies between 2006-2008. Photo: Getty Images

“With Stephen Moore returning to the Reds next year there was obviously a gap we needed to fill in our squad and I think Saia is a perfect fit,” Larkham said in a statement.

“His aggression, low tackles and fervour at the breakdown will definitely be of great benefit to us next season.”

It won’t all be new for both Larkham and Faingaa, having previously played together during the 2006 and 2007 Super Rugby season.

“It’s very pleasing that Saia wants to return to the Brumbies,” Larkham said.

“When he was a teenager, he had all the characteristics of a world-class player and after more than 120 Super Rugby games he is still playing with that level of intensity which is great to see."