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Faingaa set to give Reds an early boost

Article Published: Monday 13 February 2012

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The Reds are set to be given a boost later this week with the return of Anthony Faingaa after he underwent surgery late last year.

Faingaa is known for his defensive work and Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has called him the "best body-on-the-line player" he's coached.

The centre is expected to return for the Reds in their final trial against the Western Force in Perth.

Faingaa had surgery to remove a piece of bone in his left shoulder after he had been carrying an anterior cruciate ligament problem through most of last year.

The Super Rugby winner's injury flared up towards the end of the Reds season last year but did not fully heal as he made it back in time for the finals and did not hold back in his defensive duties.

Faingaa finally had surgery on the injury two weeks after he returned from the Wallabies' end of year tour last year.

"It's been one of those things that has been recurring," the 25-year-old told AAP.

"When you play for your country or your state, you just suck it up and keep going. "

"It's one of those things, do you not play a Test match or for your state because your shoulder's sore? You just play."

Faingaa will be rushed back a week earlier than expected after Aidan Toua was injured playing against the Brumbies.

Most of the attention in the Reds camp has been about Quade Cooper's injury but McKenzie is believed to be just as concerned about his centres as Faingaa is likely to partner with the lesser experienced Ben Tapuai.

Faingaa could have avoided having surgery but chose to go through with it and risk a late Super Rugby start to ensure that he would be right for the whole season.

"It's actually been a blessing in disguise," he said.

"It's been quite a good off-season for myself.

"Because I tackle so much and that's one of my major strong points, it's why I wanted to get it right.

"I'm feeling fresh and I can't wait for this season to start."

Faingaa's brother Saia is expected to miss this week's warm up clash against the Force due to an ankle injury but he is not in doubt for the Round 1 clash against the Reds.

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