ProfileSalesi Ma’afu is a supremely powerful front-rower who returns for his seventh season of Super Rugby. The international tighthead prop joined the Emirates Western Force as a key signing for the 2012 season after five years with the Brumbies. Ma’afu started in all 13 matches for his new province last season. A broken arm suffered in training towards the end of the season ruled him out of the final three matches and robbed him of adding to his 13 Test caps. The 29-year-old has been a regular in Wallaby squads since making his Test debut against Fiji in 2010, representing Australia at his first Rugby World Cup in 2011 and finishing off the year in the run-on side for both Spring Tour matches against Wales and the Barbarians. Regarded as one of Australia’s leading tightheads, Ma’afu is a set-piece specialist and a student of scrummaging, whose aggressive ball-running complements the playing platform he provides for his side. Timeline2002Represents NSW Under 19 for a second successive season.2005Member of the NSW Academy; represents NSW A and the Australian Barbarians; selected for the Waratahs’ four-match Development Tour of Eastern Europe; signs with the Brumbies.2006Plays three matches for the Brumby Runners; member of the Brumbies’ Australian Provincial Championship-winning squad.2007Makes his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs in Week One; plays 10 matches in his first Super Rugby season; scores a try in his appearance for Australia A in their 71-10 win over Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup; selected for the British Barbarians side that defeats South Africa, 22-5, at Twickenham; plays five matches for the Leicester Development Squad.2008Plays 11 matches for the Brumbies; selected for three matches for Australia A during the Pacific Nations Cup, including his first run-on start in the 20-15 win over Samoa.2009Plays eight matches for the Brumbies; scores his first Super Rugby try against the Sharks in Durban; captains West Harbour during the Shute Shield season; plays four matches for the Brumbies during their French tour; selected for his first Wallaby squad for the Spring Tour, starting in the tour match against Gloucester (won 36-5) and off the bench in the 31-3 win over Cardiff.2010Plays all 13 matches for the Brumbies, crossing for two tries; makes his Test debut in the run-on side in the Wallabies’ 49-3 win over Fiji in Canberra; one of three players to start in all 10 domestic and Tri Nations Tests for the Wallabies; selected for his second Spring Tour, starting in midweek matches against Leicester and Munster.2011Plays 10 matches for the Brumbies; registers his 50th Super Rugby cap in the Brumbies’ 27-19 loss to the Emirates Western Force in Canberra; suffers a broken arm against the Lions in Week 13, ending his season; signs with the Emirates Western Force; starts at tighthead in the Wallabies’ 21-18 bronze-medal win in Auckland at the Rugby World Cup; selected for his third Spring Tour, starting in wins over Wales (24-18) and the Barbarians (60-11).2012Makes his Emirates Western Force debut against the Brumbies in Week One; starts 13 matches at tighthead; breaks his arm at training that rules him out of the inbound Tests and cuts his Super Rugby season short.
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24 MAY 2013