Faumuina Signs As The 25th Warrior
Auckland, New Zealand, December 7, 2001 – Vodafone Warriors chief executive officer Mick Watson announced today the signing of Canberra Raider Sione Faumuina on a three year deal, allowing the 20 year old former Junior Kiwi to return home and fulfil a long-held ambition to play for the Warriors.
Faumuina’s addition to the playing roster means the club has now completed its full quota of 25 registered professionals for the 2002 season.
‘Daniel Anderson and I are excited about having Sione with us for the next three years and beyond. The first time we saw Sione play was in 2000 when the Junior Kiwis played Australia. He was one of the best players on the field,’ said Watson.
‘Sione perfectly fits the mould of a player Daniel likes to work with – he is young, big, fast, can play a number of positions and is extremely skillful. He provides us with cover in the backrow and at centre.’
‘The Canberra Raiders management have taken a responsible attitude to Sione’s situation and have worked closely with us in the best interests of a player with his entire professional career in front of him. He was extremely homesick and wanted to come home.’
Faumuina played 11 games for Canberra in season 2001, scoring two tries – one of those against his new club in their Round 13 clash at Manuka Oval.
‘When I was playing against the Warriors, I always felt like I was playing in the wrong jersey. This is a dream come true,’ said Faumuina.
Faumuina spent his early years with the Glenora club in West Auckland before his family relocated to Wellington in his early teens. He did not play rugby or league at Rongotai College, instead preferring to use his athleticism in basketball. Faumuina represented Wellington in age-group teams from under-14 through to under-20.
He resumed playing league after returning to Auckland in 1999 to complete a National Certificate in Business Administration. In a remarkable year he was selected in the Auckland under 18’s, New Zealand Under 18’s, Glenora premier team and named player of the year at the national age-group tournaments.