Faraimo pre­pared to make his move

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

His childhood

coach,

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.’’

Photo: GETTY

Big play: Bureta Faraimo takes the ball up against Wales dur­ing the Rugby League World Cup.

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