'I wouldn't say he's been playing out of his skin'
REACTION: Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga’a is putting his name up in lights to secure the Wallabies No.2 jersey at this year’s World Cup.
The 23-year-old has started the Super Rugby season in a blaze of glory, highlighted by a two-try display in the Brumbies’ victory over the NSW Waratahs on Friday.
By notching a double at GIO Stadium, Fainga’a became the first Brumby since Andrew Walker in 2004 to score a try in five consecutive games.
His outstanding work in the Brumbies’ trademark rolling maul has made him the stand-out Australian hooker so far this year.
Fainga’a is doing his best work with incumbent Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu serving a six-game suspension after being booked playing for the Waratahs last month.
Fainga’a has six Wallabies caps to his name, but should nail down a starting position if he continues in this vein of form.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was determined to keep Fainga’a grounded during his post-match assessment.
“I wouldn’t say he’s been playing out of his skin, but I thought he was good,” McKellar said.
“His set pieces have been good. But he’s had a big 12 months.
“He’s gone from playing with Sydney Uni and working full-time to all of a sudden becoming a Wallaby.
“He’s got that physicality and if he gets the stars in his eyes, he doesn’t care who he’s playing against he treats everyone the same.”
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The news out of the Brumbies’ second win of the season wasn’t as good for flank Rob Valetini.
On the same day, it was announced he had signed a two-year contract extension with the Brumbies, promising back row forward Valetini went down with a knee injury.
McKellar was unsure how serious the 20-year-old’s injury was but Valetini looked to be in severe pain and was wearing a knee brace after the game.
Star prop Scott Sio came off holding his elbow but McKellar said removing him from the game was more a precautionary move.