Home / World News / Western Force captain and hooker Feleti Kaitu’u welcomes challenge from Wallabies rival Folau Fainga’a

Western Force captain and hooker Feleti Kaitu’u welcomes challenge from Wallabies rival Folau Fainga’a

Western Force captain Feleti Kaitu’u has welcomed competition from new signing and fellow Wallaby Folau Fainga’a for next year’s starting hooking role.

Both players have been selected in the Wallabies squad for the three-Test series against England that kicks-off on July 2 at Optus Stadium.

Fainga’a will move from the Brumbies on a one-year contract while Kaitu’u’s new deal will be announced next week.

Kaitu’u joined Force second-rower Izack Rodda, a month out from the international, at Optus Stadium on Thursday.

“He (Fainga’a) is a great player,” Kaitu’u said.

“He’s got a lot of experience and I’m sure he’ll add a great deal to the team.

“I’m sure I can learn a lot from him as well….it will really help my game I feel.

“There’s only one spot there for the taking in terms of that starting jersey and we both want it.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Izack Rodda and Feleti Kaitu'u pose during an Australia Wallabies media announcement at Optus Stadium on June 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera IconIzack Rodda and Feleti Kaitu’u at Optus Stadium. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Kaitu’u battled a series of niggling injuries the last few games of the Super season but is confident he will be ready for the Test series.

“Mate, I’ve got bloody Tongan legs and they just seem to struggle a bit from time to time,” he joked.

“It’s been a bit of battle but I’ve got a bit of time now the season has unfortunately come to an end to really get stuck into a bit of work.

“There’s no excuses, I’ve turned the corner and now it’s about building up to my optimal fitness.”

Rodda, who was wearing a moon boot on his right foot, is also confident he will be ready to try and grab the Wallabies’ first win in eight matches against England.

He was was troubled in the last few games of the Super season and feared a repeat of the stress fracture he suffered three years ago.

Scans cleared him of serious damage and he hopes to be back in full training next week.

“It was a bit nerve-racking at the start. I was a little bit nervous it was going to be another stress fracture,” Rodda said.

“I’ll be fine. The scans cleared it up, it’s just a little bit of bone bruising which was great to hear.

“I had it for the last few rounds of the season. I just started noticing a bit of pain and my ankle range was going down.”

Rodda played in the last two Test matches against New Zealand at Optus.

“We want to get some momentum moving into the World Cup, so you’ve got to start it now,” he said.

“We want to beat the best teams and they’re one of the best teams.”

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