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Richard Faʻaoso

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Richard Fa'aoso (born 8 May 1984), also known by the nicknames of "Richie",[3] and "Fuss",[4] is a former Tonga international rugby league footballer. He played as a prop and played for the Penrith Panthers, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels, Newcastle Knights, Melbourne Storm and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the National Rugby League, and the Castleford Tigers in the Super League.

Fa'aoso playing for the Newcastle Knights in 2009.
Personal information
Full nameLisiate Richard Fa'aoso[1]
Born (1984-05-08) 8 May 1984 (age 35)
Aspley, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
PositionProp, Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2004 Penrith Panthers 10 2 0 0 8
2005 Sydney Roosters 21 1 0 0 4
2006 Castleford Tigers 26 5 0 0 20
2007 Parramatta Eels 1 0 0 0 0
2008–12 Newcastle Knights 99 12 0 0 48
2012 Melbourne Storm 6 0 0 0 0
2013 Manly Sea Eagles 18 0 0 0 0
2015 Parramatta Eels 5 0 0 0 0
Total 186 20 0 0 80
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–15 Tonga 10 4 0 0 8
Source: [2]


Fa'aoso was born in Aspley, Queensland, Australia[citation needed] to parents of Tongan and Australian descent.

Playing careerEdit

Penrith PanthersEdit

Fa'aoso played his junior football for Norths Aspley before being signed by the Penrith Panthers.

In Round 14 of the 2004 NRL season, Fa'aoso made his NRL début for the Panthers against the St. George Illawarra Dragons.

Sydney RoostersEdit

In 2005, he joined the Sydney Roosters and played 21 games for them during the year.

Castleford TigersEdit

In 2006, Fa'aoso played for the Castleford Tigers in the Super League, who signed him after their promotion in 2005.

Parramatta EelsEdit

In 2007, he returned to Australia, signing with The Parramatta Eels for 3 years. He was touted as a replacement for departing Eel Michael Vella who left the Eels to join Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers in 2007.

Newcastle KnightsEdit

After 2007, Fa'aoso was released to sign a 2-year deal with the recently cleaned out, Brian Smith-coached Newcastle Knights. During 2008, Fa'aoso became a permanent first-grader for Newcastle, earning a new 3-year contract for the Knights after making 45 appearances and scoring 7 tries for the club.[5] Fa'aoso made another 46 appearances, scoring 3 tries during 2010 and 2011, making the Knights the club that he has spent the most time with.

In 2012 Wayne Bennett took over as coach of the Knights and at the halfway stage of the season Fa'aoso had only made 8 appearances for the team. He was told that he wouldn't be re-signed for 2013 after 99 games and wouldn't be stopped if he were to find a new club to join mid-season before 30 June transfer deadline.

Melbourne StormEdit

On 27 June 2012, Fa'aoso traveled to Melbourne to have a fitness test in order to sign with the Melbourne Storm for the remainder of the 2012 season. He officially signed with the Storm later that afternoon. The Storm's general manager of Football Operations, Frank Ponissi, said the signing of Fa'aoso was a welcome addition to their NRL squad : "We see Richie's signing as a chance to bring some further experience and strength to our roster."[6] Fa'aoso left the Knights as a fan favourite, playing 99 games and scoring 12 tries. Fa'aoso said about the move “I have had a ball at the Knights and I will always have great mates here, I thank the Knights for the opportunity and to everyone for their efforts; the coaches, my teammates, the trainers, just everyone at the Club for all they have done for me. Wayne (Bennett) was great to give me a chance at the start of the season and I am disappointed I was unable to make the most of it. I also want to say thank you to all of the Knights fans for your support. The time is right for me to move on and I wish the Knights all the best for the rest of the season and beyond.”[7]

On 30 September 2012, Fa'aoso came off the bench in the Melbourne Storm's 2012 NRL Grand Final win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. He played a total of 6 games for the club.

Manly Warringah Sea EaglesEdit

On 10 July 2012, just 13 days after signing with Melbourne, Fa'aoso signed a 2-year deal with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles starting in 2013, despite not yet having played a game for the Melbourne Storm.

Towards the end of the 2013 NRL season, Fa'aoso broke his neck. In February 2014, doctors advised him never to play Rugby league again. He subsequently announced his retirement from Rugby league.[8]

Parramatta Eels second stintEdit

In September 2014, Fa'aoso was cleared for a shock comeback to the NRL from his broken neck.[9] On 30 October 2014, he signed a 1-year contract with the Parramatta Eels starting in 2015.[10][11] However the NRL did not register the contract, after Fa'aoso could not secure adequate insurance cover for his return.[12]

On 2 April 2015, Fa'aoso was cleared to return to the playing field.[13] He made his return in Round 7 of the 2015 NRL season against his former team Newcastle Knights.[14] Shortly after getting on the field, Fa'aoso suffered a concussion from a head knock and was taken off, he subsequently failed the concussion test and was ruled out for the remainder of the match.[15]

In October 2015, Fa'aoso again announced his retirement.[16]

Representative careerEdit

Fa'aoso made his international début for Tonga in 2006, playing 4 tests.

In August 2008, Fa'aoso was named in the Tonga training squad for the 2008 World Cup,[17] and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man Tonga squad.[18]

Fa'aoso was again selected for the Tongan national team in 2009 for the Pacific Cup. He was named Tongan player of the year for 2009.[19]

On 20 April 2013, Fa'aoso played for Tonga in their Pacific Rugby League International match with Samoa.

On 2 May 2015, Fa'aoso made his 10th appearance for Tonga in his country's clash against Pacific rivals Samoa in the 2015 Polynesian Cup.

Achievements and accoladesEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Fa'aoso is of Tongan descent. His father Tongan while his mother is Australian of European descent.[20]


  1. ^ "Rugby - Player statistics Fa'aoso Richard - club stats". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  2. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Richard Fa'aoso - Career Stats & Summary - Rugby League Project". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Fa'aoso announces NRL retirement". 4 February 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Coming of age". 26 March 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Knights put faith in Fa'aoso". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (3 September 2014). "Richie Fa'aoso cleared to return to NRL less than a year after breaking his neck". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  10. ^ "Eels Announce Five Signings For 2015". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Fa'aoso to resurrect career with Eels". Fox Sports. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  12. ^ "NRL refuse to register Richie Fa'aoso's Parramatta contract over insurance concerns". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Richie Fa'aoso cleared to return". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Fa'aoso returns, 569 days since breaking his neck". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Video: Nasty head clash in Fa'aoso return". Fox Sports. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ "Tug-of-war over Mason". Sky Sports. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  18. ^ "Samoa, Tonga and Fiji name squads". BBC. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  19. ^ "Hayne named Player of the Year". Daily Telegraph. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  20. ^ Optus, Singtel. "Optus Zoo Closure Notice". Retrieved 11 October 2017.

External linksEdit