The lucky charm behind Faingaa's rapid rise

The Rugby Championship
by AAP

The jury may still be out on his rat's tail but rookie Wallabies hooker Folau Faingaa is confident his set piece play has won coach Michael Cheika over in the race for a second Test cap on Saturday.

The 23-year-old backed up his Bledisloe Cup debut off the bench with a hat-trick in Canberra's first-round NRC loss on the weekend.

He said the three tries were just a bonus though, with his line-out and scrum work the real gauge of form ahead of a clash with South Africa in Brisbane.

The Brumbies rake, growing a neat rat's tail he says has now become a part of him, is in a race with Tolu Latu and Brandon Paenga-Amosa to deputise for 84-Test veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau at Suncorp Stadium.

Comfortable with the transition to the highest level, Faingaa knows what is needed to bounce back from successive floggings at the hands of the All Blacks.Faingaa is desperate to get his hands on a second Test cap. Photo: Rugby Australia/Marty Cambridge"It's about manning up," he said.

"And for me, it's all about my set piece and consistency - it's just getting the line-out and scrum right - the three tries (for Canberra) is just an extra bonus."

Australia must rid themselves of the fundamental errors that plagued both losses to the All Blacks but there will be no removal of Faingaa's pride and joy.

"My old roommate was cutting my hair and thought we'd leave it in for fun," he said.

"I didn't think it'd stay in this long, but it's not going now.

"Probably behind my back (the coach has criticised it), but not to my knowledge."

"You've got a different type of group - lot of jokers - guys that take it serious and guys who just like hanging by themselves... it's good to get that balance in the team."

The Wallabies face the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, kicking off at 8pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and radio.