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St.George Queensland Reds resident livewire Chris Feauai-Sautia, in just his second year of Super Rugby has been included in the 40-man Wallabies set to prepare for the 2013 Rugby Championship.
11 Queensland Reds have been named in McKenzie’s 40-man Wallabies squad with James Horwill, Will Genia, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa and Liam Gill all re-joining the squad after the British & Irish Lions tour, while Quade Cooper, Mike Harris, Anthony Faingaa and Jake Schatz have all been named for the first time in 2013, along with Feauai-Sautia who enters into the squad as the only uncapped Reds player selected.
At the tender age of 19, Feauai-Sautia has made a massive impact on the Australian Rugby scene since making his debut for the Reds in 2012, in their round 13 fixture against the Lions.
Feauai-Sautia made a further two appearances in 2012, and in 2013 has become a regular starter in the Queensland Reds backline, featuring at both outside centre and the wing.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” said Feauai-Sautia.
“I’m looking forward to getting into camp and training hard.”
Feauai-Sautia was first noticed by current Wallabies and former Reds Head Coach Ewen McKenzie as a schoolboy playing First XV Rugby at Brisbane State High School, and before graduating in 2011 McKenzie offered the then 17 year-old a full-time contact with the Reds for the 2012 season.
Since then Feauai-Sautia has blossomed into one of Queensland and Australian Rugby’s most promising young stars and he attributes a lot of his early success to the influence of McKenzie.
“Link (McKenzie) has been one of the key factors in my development, it’s been great to play under him at the Reds,” Feauai-Sautia said.
“He really understands the way I play and brings the best out of my game, to have him again at the Wallabies will be great.”
2012 was a year to remember for Chris as he was chosen in the Australian Under 20 squad for the Junior Rugby World Cup in South Africa, he was also selected in 2013 however Super Rugby commitments took priority.
He has also featured for his club side Souths on a number of occasions this year and Magpies Head Coach Michael Broad is looking forward to seeing Chris progress at the next level.
“I think Chris’s selection is a wonderful reward for a player who has enormous talent,” said Broad.
“I think that by selecting him, the selectors are looking towards the future of the Wallabies and Chris has a major role to play in that.
“As an impact player he creates a wonderful brand of Rugby for the rest of the team to work off, and all the team is excited to play with him whenever he comes back.”
The 181cm, 92kg winger is the most capped Australian Schoolboy in history, tied on 11 caps with Newington College’s Hugh Roach, topping the previous marks of nine tests held by Wallabies stars Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale.
The fast finishing flyer was a standout member of the National Gold Squad from 2009-2011 and featured in the champion Under 16 Queensland side in 2008 and the Queensland Schools First XV sides in 2009 and 2010.
A hamstring injury in Brisbane State High School’s final GPS game in July of 2011 robbed Chris of his dream of holding the outright title of Australia’s most-capped Schoolboy as he was forced to sit out both 2011 Tests against England and New Zealand.
Having previously represented Australia at both Schoolboy’s and Under 20’s levels, his selection in the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship is testament to the pathways provided by Queensland and Australian Rugby.
Postion: Wing/Outside Centre
Date Of Birth: 17/11/1993
Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Club: Souths
Provincial Rugby Caps: 16
Provincial Rugby Points: 10 (2t)
Provincial Rugby Debut: May 2012 v Lions, Suncorp Stadium
Super Rugby Caps: 16
Super Rugby Points: 10 (2t)
Super Rugby Debut: May 2012 v Lions, Suncorp Stadium
2013 Season Snap Shot
Tackle Busts: 32
Line Breaks: 6
16 FEBRUARY 2019