Brandon Paenga-Amosa during an Australian training session
WHO doesn’t love a good ‘rags to riches’ sports story?
Ahead of Saturday’s decisive Third test meeting with Ireland in Sydney, 11.05am Irish time, the Australian rugby press has devoted plenty of column inches this week to the story of how Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Folau Faingaa went from working as garbage men in Sydney less than 12 months ago to being on the cusp of making their Wallabies debuts.
The young hookers, both without Super Rugby contracts and unsure whether they were really cut out for professional rugby, were subjected to 4am wake-ups every day to earn a living.
“That smell in the morning and when it’s hot in the arvo . . . I could barely put up with it," Faingaa admitted.
Paenga-Amosa added: “The 4am wake-ups every single morning, the hard yakka throughout the day, digging holes underneath the hot sun, it really drove me to want to come a professional rugby player and be the best man I can.”
In the space of eight months, Paenga-Amosa and Faingaa have picked up Super Rugby contracts with the Reds and Brumbies, respectively are part of Michael Cheika’s squad and are in line to make their Wallaby debuts this Saturday. Let’s hope they don’t sweep up the big prize of a Test series win!