Faraimo prepared to make his move
Bureta Faraimo is one name to keep an eye on.
The Porirua College old boy and St George junior has been playing for the past two years with the Mackay Cutters in the InTrust Super Cup, a Queensland competition one tier below the NRL.
The 23-year-old winger was the top try-scorer in 2013 with 17 and his side beat Easts in the grand final.
He was eligible for the United States team because his grandfather was born in American Samoa, and received plenty of exposure when the Americans charged into the recent World Cup quarterfinals.
A picture of him upending Australian forward Josh Papalii was splashed across news and social media sites.
Despite their 62-0 drubbing by Australia – which Faramio described as ‘‘like having a singoff against Michael Jackson’’ – being in Britain for the World Cup served its purpose.
‘‘It was a good environment, even though I joined the team very late. I wanted to use the chance to bring my confidence up and get seen.’’
His partner, Sia, and two young children will join Faraimo in Sydney shortly as he starts training with the Parramatta Eels.
He said he was jaded, but looking forward to the challenge.
‘‘I’m really excited. I haven’t had much time between my season [with the Cutters] and the World Cup, and pre-season training starts [this] week.
‘‘I do get time off at Christmas, so can’t wait for that.’’
Faraimo’s mother, Opeta, said the family crowded around the TV to watch Bureta play for the United States, and became dedicated Tomahawks fans.
‘‘ We are very proud of him. Every time we see him on the television we’re crying. We can’t believe it. I was just hoping he could remember the words to the [American] national anthem – his lips were moving, but maybe he was praying.’’
Lise Baker, said she recalled driving Faraimo to and from Wainui for training three times a week when the youngster was embarking on his senior career. He still calls her regularly.
‘‘He’s quiet, but he listened to his coaches and did the hard yards. I was yelling at the TV, ‘Don’t leave your wing too early’ during the quarterfinal, so he’s still learning. He’ll do well.’’
Big play: Bureta Faraimo takes the ball up against Wales during the Rugby League World Cup.