Reds resigned to losing Moore - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds resigned to losing Moore

By Jim Morton 04/04/2008 06:43:32 PM Comments (0)

Queensland expect to lose incumbent Test hooker Stephen Moore as a direct result of luring the Brumbies' highly-rated Faingaa twins to Ballymore.

The Reds admitted Moore was "very likely" to announce his departure next week after hooker Saia Faingaa joined his twin Anthony in signing a package deal with Queensland.

The Faingaas, 21, agreed to two-year deals to leave their family home at Queanbeyan to join their former Australian U19 coaches Phil Mooney and Mark Bell in Brisbane.

But while the Brumbies lost two rising home-grown products, in an ironic twist, the Canberra franchise is ready to claim a recruitment victory over the Reds.

Moore is weighing up a move to either the Brumbies or the Western Force and there's optimism in the national capital Saia Faingaa's departure may trigger a straight swap.

"If we were to secure Stephen as the incumbent Wallabies hooker we would have felt we'd come out well in front in the trade," Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan told AAP.

"We'd feel as though our pack for 2009 would be the strongest in the country."

The Brumbies forwards depth was stiffened with flanker Julian Salvi spurning a Reds offer to remain as George Smith's understudy.

Salvi's decision has intensified Queensland's determination to lure powerful youngster David Pocock home from the Western Force.

Pocock, 19, has let an ARU contract deadline lapse to concentrate on his game and may be prepared to wait an extra season to negotiate with the national body in the hope he has already tasted Test rugby.

The Faingaas surprised officials with the speed of the signing, in some way prompted by the Brumbies' reluctance to offer inside centre Anthony a contract renewal.

Reds high-performance director Ben Whittaker said the QRU, burnt for their patience too often in recent seasons, couldn't afford to wait any longer for an answer from Moore, who is set to show his hand on Tuesday.

"We're under no illusions that potentially we have lost the incumbent Wallabies hooker," Whittaker said.

"We had to make sure that we were in a position that if we lost Stephen we could replace him with someone.

"That's why we expressed an interest in Saia and now that things have moved quickly and he's now signed to come up here, we know for a fact that it's very likely that Stephen Moore does take up that option to leave.

"We totally appreciate his position but we probably needed a decision earlier."

Fagan said the twins, who dreamed of starting together for the Brumbies, made the decision to move together after there was no room for Anthony in their 2009 squad.

The Brumbies have come to terms with Australia A centre Gene Fairbanks and also have Cristian Lealiifano, Tyrone Smith and skipper Stirling Mortlock who can play at No.12.

Whittaker said the Reds made it clear to both they "wanted them individually".

"We actually offered Anthony a formal offer before we offered Saia anything," Whittaker said.

The pair were integral members of Mooney's national side which won the 2006 Under 19 World Cup in Dubai and made their starting debuts for the Brumbies this year.

"The coaching staff at the Reds was definitely a big influence," Anthony said from Canberra.

"It was a hard decision. We grew up here and we've played all our football down here and I don't think we've ever been away from home for longer than about two weeks at a time."

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