Melbourne Rebels hulking prop Pone Fa’amausili has become a cult-hero of the Australian rugby world this past week, following a series of electrifying highlights against the Reds.
Speaking to Super W captain Melanie Kawa on Tuesday night’s episode of ‘Convos with Kawa’, Fa’amausili touched on his now-viral highlights, admitting he thrives on the game’s physicality.
"I’ve always enjoyed the contact,” Fa’amausili said.
“It hasn’t been a new thing for me to be running that hard or that far away from kick-offs.
“Definitely something I’ve always had but have never been able to showcase on the big stage.”
However, that all changed last Friday night, when the 23-year-old produced one of the best barrelling runs of the young Super Rugby AU season – and it may have never happened.
“Usually that’s the Number 8’s role to be able to get back there but it’s funny because we were attacking and we were about 40 meters out and I actually just couldn’t be bothered running all the way to the try line and Dane Haylett-Petty put a kick through and then they grounded it, so they had to kick it back.
"I was already at the 40-meter line and I could just hear Pop (Matt To’omua) and Dayno (Dane Haylett-Petty) just say get behind him and run it off this kick-off here, so it’s probably thanks to them two.”
The Melbourne-born product is one of the original members of the notorious ‘Burn City Boys’ – a group of Victorian-born Rebels seeking to inspire the next generation of local players.
The group, which includes Sione Tuipulotu, Jordan Uelese and Rob Leota, has strived to put Melbourne rugby “on the map” by showing it’s possible to reach the heights of professional rugby through the current Victorian pathway in place.
“The last couple of years, we have been trying to drive it and it’s almost become a brand, the Burn Boys.
“If you see Rugby Victoria, they’ve posted the Burn Boys with the flag which is what we use as our symbol or a logo, so a big shout-out to Sione Tuipulotu, who came up with that logo which has driven us to where we are today.
“We have more boys hopping on like Trevor (Hosea), who obviously debuted two weeks ago.
“We have really talented kids back in Melbourne and I guess for them back there, it’s so hard for them to pursue a rugby dream because we are in Melbourne, we don’t really have the platform that people have in Sydney and up in Brisbane.
“They do have that ticker in them and all the physical sides that we have, but maybe it’s just having that platform for those kids to come through and to obviously showcase on the big stage.”
With the Melbourne metropolitan area forced back into lockdown following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Fa’amausili says the people of Melbourne are at the forefront of the Rebels thoughts and prayers and that the players are now focused on making their families and the entire city of Melbourne proud.
“My family is back there, so I’m always waking up thinking about them.
“I’m always going to grind hard and having them at the back of my mind, that’s what drives me every morning and everyday when I wake up.
“So, shout out to everyone back home in Melbourne - everyone’s doing it tough over there, and we’re thinking about and praying for everyone as well.
“We’re going to be training and grinding our way through just to make you all happy, so shout-out to Melbourne and shout-out to my family over there as well.”