Lean, Mean Milestone Man

· Super Rugby
by Reds Media Unit

An Australian Schoolboys star at Brisbane State High School, Feauai-Sautia was tipped to be the next big thing by anyone that saw him carve up the Queensland GPS 1st XV circuit for three-straight years, between 2009 and 2011.

Having remarkably earned his first Australian Schools cap at the end of his Grade 10 season, the softly spoken, Auckland-born outside back was signed to a fulltime Reds contract in his senior year at State High.

That same year, Feauai-Sautia was set to surpass Hugh Roach as the most-capped Australian Schoolboy of all time.

But, in a theme that would plague him throughout the first seven years of his Reds career, Feauai-Sautia was struck down by a hamstring injury which cruelled him of that honour.

A Super Rugby debut in 2012, and Test debut in 2013 followed on from his high school days, but a tough run with injuries has seen Feauai-Sautia take the long road to earn his 50th Queensland cap this Saturday night against the Bulls.

 Having missed all Super Rugby in 2017, Feauai-Sautia returned to Rugby with Bond University Queensland Country a different player.

A leaner, fitter version of the star outside back dominated the NRC.

Under the tutelage of coach Brad Thorn at Queensland Country, Feauai-Sautia racked up more tackle busts (44) than any other player in the competition.

He was fitter, faster and as a result, more destructive.

The lean, mean version of Feauai-Sautia produced what he promised to deliver for so long.

He hunted more work in field, busted tackles at will and put in an extra shift on defence.

Outside Hamish Stewart and Duncan Paia’aua, Feauai-Sautia quietly amassed a season which promised plenty prior to the 2018 Super Rugby season.

He played an integral part in Country’s transformation from cellar dwellers to title winners and that had Thorn bullish on his prospects prior to season 2018 and he has not disappointed in Queensland’s two starts to date.

“You know how highly I rate, Chris Feauai-Sautia,” Thorn said after the win over the Brumbies.

“I have a huge opinion of him.“Isn’t it great to see him playing well?”

It doesn’t just feel like Feauai-Sautia has been around Ballymore forever - he has been.

His name has featured in headlines for almost a decade.

But at just 24, he is just getting started.

Having finally found the perfect balance for his body, the Rugby world is at his feet.