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Faumuina's time to shine

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Sportal.co.nz     11 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Had he not pulled a calf muscle ahead of the All Blacks being named for the Steinlager Series against Ireland in June, he would have been part of that campaign.

But time out of the game, and applied concentration on getting the calf muscle had ensured he would be chosen for the Investec Rugby Championship which begins for New Zealand at Sydney next weekend.

The selectors had kept him touch with him to ensure he kept fit in the interim.

By getting back in time to play for the Blues in the last games of their Investec Super Rugby campaign he would have a chance to stake a claim for international season.

He achieved that and was delighted to have the opportunity.

Faumuina had had no indication of what the coaches had in store for him so he was just soaking up the lessons from the side's preparation in the hope that somewhere along the line he would get the chance to secure an All Blacks jersey.

Staying fit had not been an issue as he had been able to work with hooker Keven Mealamu after the Blues were knocked out of the Super Rugby campaign.

Knowing that calf muscle injuries are an occupational hazard for front rowers, Faumuina said a 'pre-hab' routine had been worked out to try and ensure no more issues occurred with the muscles.

"We go through that every two days just to keep on top of the calf and make sure it doesn't tear again. It feels pretty good, I haven't had any problems since I've come back.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge. Owen's [Franks] has been around for a while, he's a strong boy when it comes to the scrum, he really dominates that so I've just got to try to step up to his standard and try to get in front of him," he said.