Anthony Siaosi Fainga'a
- 846Wallaby Number
Inseparable for much of their lives it was no surprise that it took Anthony Fainga’a just 56 days to match his twin brother Saia in winning a first Test cap for Australia. One half of just the third set of capped Wallaby twins, and of Tongan and Aboriginal descent, Anthony paved a predominantly traditional path to national honours. He graduated from the rugby nursery that is St Edmunds, Canberra to Australian Schools, U19s (where Australia won their first aged world championship) & U21s, Australian 7s, a brief four-game stint with the ACT Brumbies in 2007-08 and then, in 2009, to the Queensland Reds on a packaged deal with his brother. It was at the Reds that Fainga’a shone, notably as the steady foil that complemented fly half Quade Cooper’s razzle dazzle. His unrelenting defence and direct attack caught the eye of national coach Robbie Deans and in 2010 he made his Test debut against New Zealand.
Anthony Fainga’a played 23 Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against Ireland Schools, Samoan Schools and New Zealand Schools. 2006 Selected in the Australian squad as vice-captain which won the third-annual IRB U19s Junior World Championship title in the United Arab Emirates. Selected in the Australian squad for the fifth-annual IRB U21s World Championships in France. 2006/07 Represented Australia in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Fainga’a won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Matt Giteau at fly-half (before switching with inside centre Berrick Barnes) in the 28-49, 1st Test loss to New Zealand in Melbourne. A week later, in the 2nd All Blacks Test, he and Saia became the first set of twins to start a Test for the Wallabies since Mark and Glen Ella in 1983. Fainga’a won a total of four caps during the Tri-Nations but missed out on the end-of-season Spring Tour.
He played a further 10 Tests over the course and was selected to a first Rugby World Cup. Fainga’a scored his first Test tries in the 67-5 pool match victory over the U.S.A. in Wellington.
Fainga’a was selected in each of the opening nine Tests during 2012 only to be overlooked throughout the end-of-season Spring Tour.