We didn’t see that coming when Folau Faingaa just defected teams from the ACT Brumbies to now the Western Force starting next season on a two-year deal, while remaining with Rugby Australia for Wallaby selection at the same time. He also reunites with a couple of ex-Brumbies who now play their trade in Perth – including Reejan Pasitoa, Bayley Kuenzle, Issak Fines, Kyle Godwin, Toni Pulu, Harry Lloyd & Angus Wagner.
It’s a great sign of ambition being shown there from the WA-based Super Rugby side – who wants to make the most of themselves in the long-term at Super Rugby level – and be a competitive front on the pitch. Plus, it will be great to see Faingaa get the chance to show his full 80 spells ahead of Felati Kaitu’u for the leading hooker position after he always start half-games often, before he was replaced by Lachlan Lonergan every time later during the 2nd half in a Brumbies shirt.
They have came from a long way since their shock axing back in 2018 before COVID changed everything three years ago, and Rugby Australia has came to their rescue once more as the 5th full-time Super Rugby Team here alongside the Melbourne Rebels, ACT Brumbies, NSW Waratahs & Queensland Reds.
From the Super Rugby AU Qualifying Final in 3rd last year to a near Top 8 finish in 9th this season in the Super Rugby Pacific; They’ve gone from strength to strength, having replaced Tim Sampson with one of the emerging coaches from New South Wales in none other than – Simon Cron – as the new head coach.
Not only he knows the NSW Rugby system & talent pool very well like current Tahs head coach Darren Coleman, he also most recently worked with Steve Hansen over the last three years as Director of Rugby at Toyota Verblitz in Japan.
There’s also a talented youngster in Jeremy Williams coming over from the Tahs where he will replace the now-retired Jeremy Thrush on the second row, while they convinced experienced Flanker/Number 8 Michael Wells to move back home from the Rebels.
The best is yet to come when Faingaa’s vast 63-cap Super Rugby and 25-cap Wallaby experience will change the way how the Force executes their throw-ins and driving maul come line-out time.
It could be a game changer under his watch that will provide plenty of competition across the Trans-Tasman in the hope of beating some New Zealand teams, as well as an extended shot via the Playoffs as long as they can finish Top 8 in the regular-season ladder every year.