Tahs secure unprecedented loan deal as World Cup Wallaby and Puma called in to fix front-row crisis


Denied at first, the NSW Waratahs have managed to secure World Cup Wallaby Pone Fa’amausili, as well as Argentine international Enrique Pieretto, on loan deals as Darren Coleman’s men battle an unprecedented injury toll up front.

With Fa’amausili sitting on the sidelines behind fellow Wallabies Taniela Tupou and Sam Talakai at the Rebels, The Roar understands Waratahs coach Coleman put through a request to bring the wrecking-ball prop up to Sydney late last month.

But it’s believed the Waratahs were originally knocked back, with the Rebels, who are on track to seal their maiden finals berth, wanting something in return following the injury to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto that stretched the squad’s depth in the back five forwards.

The Waratahs said no given they too aren’t exactly sitting pretty in the competition as they attempt to make a late surge towards the finals.

As such, the initial talks fell over.

Rebels and Wallabies prop Pone Fa’amausili has been loaned to the Waratahs. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

But after the Waratahs were thumped by the Hurricanes, losing fourth-choice hooker Julian Heaven along the way to add to the four props already sidelined, the Waratahs have at last been able to convince the necessary parties of the benefit of Fa’amausili coming to Daceyville.

The 27-year-old, who started at the Rugby World Cup last year under Eddie Jones in the absence of Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa, as well as Pieretto from Glasgow, will be eligible from a week-to-week basis.

Both players may return to their respective clubs this season if needed.

Fa’amausili’s arrival at the Waratahs comes at an important time for the Wallabies tight-head prop, who last year packed down alongside injured loose-head prop Angus Bell.

Without a contract beyond 2024, Fa’amausili’s ability to kick-on from last year’s World Cup campaign and impress suitors was being harmed by not getting on the field.

Now, he will likely have a month to push his case.

After packing down alongside Angus Bell last year, Rebels prop Pone Fa’amausili has been called up to help ease the Waratahs’ front-row crisis. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Pieretto, meanwhile, is no stranger to the Super Rugby competition, after enjoying a successful spell with the Jaguares in his native Argentina.

The tight-head prop featured 17 times for the franchise on their run to the 2019 Super Rugby final, with New Zealand heavyweights Crusaders denying them a historic title.

Part of Argentina’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, Pieretto played in the Pumas’ pool stage victory over the USA in Kumagaya as part of a renowned scrummaging unit.

The 29-year-old was also selected for the world’s most famous invitational side in November 2019, representing the Barbarians against Fiji at Twickenham.

“Both Pone and Enrique give us experience and size in the crucial prop position where we have been hit by significant injury numbers,” Coleman said.

“Both have played at the highest levels of the game and are hungry for opportunity.”

Fa’amausili’s addition is a historic one for the Super Rugby Pacific competition as it is the first time a player-loan like this has occurred between clubs.

“A genuine thank you to both the Melbourne Rebels and the Glasgow Warriors who have worked in a very cooperative and sympathetic manner to allow this,” Coleman said.

With AAP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.