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The University of Canberra Brumbies welcomed the final member of their 2012 squad to training on Monday when Fotu Auelua arrived at Griffith HQ fresh from a season in Japan.
After growing up in Sydney’s west, attending Trinity College in Sydney and then the Southport School on the Gold Coast, Auelue made a name for himself as a tough competitor while playing for West Harbour in the Shute Shield.
Auelua spent the next five years in France, first representing US Dax and then moving south to Toulon where he played for four seasons. A giant of a man, Auelua’s versatility came in handy while he was in France with the Toulon coaching staff switching him between No. 8 and inside-centre.
YouTube is littered with videos of the big unit in action, but Auelua says he’s not interested in any of that. The 28-year-old said he was in Canberra with one thing on his mind – hard work.
“My family and I really enjoyed our time overseas, it was a nice way for my kids to grow up, in the south of France and then spending time in Japan,” Auelua said.
“But now that we’re back and I’ve been given an opportunity with the Brumbies I want to work as hard as I can to have a crack at this level of rugby.
“The Super Rugby competition is probably the toughest on earth so I’m just looking forward to getting out there and testing myself.
“This will be a big year for me and the season can’t come quickly enough.”
Auelua has linked with many of his new teammates in the past, playing junior representative rugby with the likes of Ben Mowen and Ben Alexander.
He also has a connection to the second-youngest player in the squad – Scott Sio – as the last two boys to represent the Australian Schoolboys from Trinity Grammar in Sydney.
Fotu (pron: Fo-too) Auelua (pron: Ay-el-oo-ay)
H/W: 1.89m, 115kg
DOB: 29/01/1984, Wellington, NZ
Senior Club: Western Districts, ACT