|Date of birth||9 February 1989|
Ita Vaea is one of Super Rugby’s most inspirational stories in recent years After scans found life-threatening blood clots on his heart, Vaea was informed that his playing days were behind him. Thus his return to the Brumbies in 2015, after two seasons away from the game, is one of determination and triumph. Vaea began his Super Rugby career with the Brumbies in 2011, making his debut in Canberra against the Chiefs. After two years and 27 caps, doctors advised Vaea to limit his physical movement to a walking pace given his health issues. His inactivity caused him to forego the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and accounted for significant weight gain. After 18 months of blood-thinning medications and time away from the sport he loves, Vaea has re-gained his previous physique through tremendous dedication and became a fairytale story for the 2015 Brumbies. More importantly than his inspiring return to Super Rugby, Vaea has moved beyond his health issues that once threatened his life.