Frontrower Fa’amausili open to shift in Rebels pack

Melissa Woods |

Wallabies prop Pone Fa’amausili (right) is prepared to shift to the back-row with Melbourne.
Wallabies prop Pone Fa’amausili (right) is prepared to shift to the back-row with Melbourne.

Man mountain Pone Fa’amausili is open to dropping weight to play in the Melbourne back-row as he seeks more Super Rugby Pacific game time.

The Wallabies World Cup bruiser has been unable to force himself into the Rebels match day squad so far this season, finding himself behind fellow tighthead props Taniela Tupou and Sam Talakai in the pecking order.

The 27-year-old helped Melbourne prepare for last week’s clash with Queensland, which they lost 53-26, by pretending he was hard-running Reds No.8 Harry Wilson.

Fa’amausili said he enjoyed taking on the role, harking back to 2019 when he played there for the Rebels.

“It was good fun, I even had the red head-gear on,” he told AAP.

“People have forgotten that I did play at eight in 2019, I played three games. 

“I’d 100 per cent be open to playing there again, but I think I’d have to lose at least 10 kilos – I’m 135 at the moment, so I just need to be disciplined and make the right choices with food.”

Melbourne coach Kevin Foote said there would be personnel changes in his side to face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday night, although Fa’amausili wasn’t sure if that signalled he was in for a call-up.

“Sammy (Talakai) is really important to our leadership team and what Nela (Tupou) brings no one else can do, so I’ve just got to bide my time,” Fa’amausili said.

With the financially stricken Rebels’ place in the competition beyond this year in major doubt Fa’amausili admitted not playing added another layer of uncertainty.

Pone Fa'amausili with the Wallabies.
Despite featuring for the Wallabies at the RWC, Fa’amausili is struggling for Rebels game-time. (HANDOUT/RUGBY AUSTRALIA)

Fa’amausili was part of Monday’s ticket launch at the MCG for next year’s British and Irish Lions tour – but with a background in rugby league, NRL clubs could also be circling the giant forward. 

“I’m not going to lie, with everything happening in the background we have to look after our own backyards at some stage,” he said. 

“But at the moment we’re just focused on trying to play every game as it comes and perform well.

“I just hope that when I do get a chance I come out and show what I do best.”