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Samuela Fainu ready to step up on NRL stage

Powerful young forward Samuela Fainu is set to become the latest player from the very successful Sea Eagles Pathways program to play NRL for Manly.

Fainu has been named on the interchange bench for Sunday’s ANZAC Round clash against the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

At 19 years of age, the 193cm, 107 kg prop/back-rower has impressed the Manly coaching staff with his raw and powerful athletic ability in his first season as part of the top 30 squad.

An NRL debut for Fainu would be a just reward for a fine young man who joined the Sea Eagles as a development player at the age of 14.

Fainu played in Manly’s undefeated 2021 Harold Matthews Cup premiership winning team before going on to play SG Ball Cup and Jersey Flegg Cup.

Sea Eagles Coach Anthony Seibold hinted in January that Fainu could well make his NRL debut this season after a strong pre-season.

After shining in Manly’s Pre-Season Challenge trial matches, Fainu has since been one of the consistent performers for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the NSW Cup.

From his five matches for Blacktown, Fainu is averaging 114 run metres and 11 hit ups, and has been strong defensively.

On the way up...Samuela Fainu takes on Souths in the Pre-Season Challenge
On the way up...Samuela Fainu takes on Souths in the Pre-Season Challenge ©NRL Photos

“One of the things that we’ve seen from Samuela is that he has shown a real increase across the board from a physical status,'' Seibold said in January.

“The thing I like about Samuela is that he has good game sense and is a very skillful player.”

Manly’s NRL Skills Development Coach, Steven Hales, has played a significant part in Samuela’s journey, having met him at the age of nine.

“From the first time I met Samuela, he's always had a football IQ, skill, and leadership qualities beyond his years,’’ Hales said.

“He has a real love for the game. Samuela has this ability to be able to play tough and roll up the sleeves when he needs to.”







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