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A linchpin in the St.George Queensland Reds backline, Anthony Faingaa continued his breakthrough form of 2010 into 2011, further forging the reputation of an absolute enforcer in defence.
Twin brother of Saia, Anthony was awarded the Reds internal Player of the Match Award on three occasions – Brumbies, Rebels and Waratahs – during the Reds Super Rugby C championship campaign.
His play was rewarded with selection in the Wallabies World Cup Squad, but his first starting appearance for Australia in 2011 came against the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium.
Anthony, who played all but two matches in 2011, was arguably the Reds breakout performer only a year earlier, where he filled the void left by Berrick Barnes at inside centre with ease. While a dislocated shoulder ended his Super Rugby campaign one game short, Anthony’s stout defence was a major reason behind the Reds resurgence, while in attack he was a standout in a backline stacked with Wallabies.
Saia Faingaa confirmed his status as Queensland’s first-class hooker in 2011 with his all-round ability and high workrate seeing the 2010 Wallabies debutant feature in all 18 matches of the St.George Queensland Reds Super Rugby Championship winning campaign.Saia went on to gain selection in the Wallabies initial 40-man Samoa and Tri Nations Test squad before earning the ultimate honour with selection for Australia at the World Cup.
Saia moved north from the Brumbies to join the Reds for the 2009 season and won 12 Super Rugby caps to add to the 27 he earned in ACT. However, like brother Anthony, it was the next year that would be the defining point of his career, where he cemented his place as the Reds first-choice hooker, courtesy of his aggression in defence, at the breakdown, and some major improvements at set-piece.
Saia joined a prestigious club with his 50th Super Rugby appearance coming in 2010 against the Brumbies in Canberra, a memorable evening for the Faingaa family with twins Saia and Anthony going head-to-head with younger brother and Brumbies flanker Colby for the first time.