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Warriors prop Ofa Fainga’anuku will give his all in bid to survive
TONGAN prop Ofa Fainga’anuku insists Warriors are ready to fight for their Aviva Premiership lives.
The former Glasgow Warriors front-rower admits Worcester have left themselves deep in the mire with poor performances throughout the season.
However, there is no time for licking wounds and the 31-year-old loosehead is ready to give everything in a last-gasp bid to help the club retain their top-flight status.
Warriors are 11 points adrift of their nearest rivals, Newcastle, with just six games to go in the campaign.
However, the fact one of those remaining matches is at Falcons’ Kingston Park home means Dean Ryan’s men aren’t quite dead and buried yet.
“We have to learn to fight and not wait for something to happen,” said Fainga’anuku, who joined the club from RaboDirect Pro14 outfit Glasgow last summer.
“We’ve been backed into a corner because of some of our performances and other teams staying on top of us.
“Other teams know that and they will make it hard for us — Newcastle are fighting.
“I would like to help the team stay in the Premiership this season. We’ve really got to fight and that’s what it’s down to.”
Off the field, Fainga’anuku has settled in well to life in Worcester and the 19-stone front-rower is happy to commit his future to Warriors, regardless of which division they will be in next term.
The Tongan-born prop, who played for the Central Coast Rays and Eastern Suburbs in Sydney, Australia, earlier in his career, started out in rugby league, but later before switchinged to union.
He is also eager to add to the two international caps he won for his country at the 2012 Pacific Nations Cup, especially with next year’s Rugby World Cup on the horizon.
He added: “I really like it at Warriors and my family really like it here, so there are a lot of positives outside of rugby.
“The club is moving forward and I’ve been at clubs where they’ve built the side from the bottom; - it will be a great ride.
“In the long-term, I have international ambitions with Tonga and I’m aiming for the World Cup in 2015.”
“We’ve been backed into a corner because of some of our performances . . . We’ve really got to fight and that’s what it’s down to.”
Soon after joining the club, the powerhouse prop picked up a shoulder problem which ruined his pre-season preparations and ruled him out of the early stages of the campaign.
He added: “I used the resources we had here to get back to fitness. I worked with the strength and conditioning guys and the physios," added Fainga’anuku.
“I used their expertise to recover from my shoulder injury. They wanted me to lose a bit of weight, so I had to do the extra sessions in the morning.
“I was just waiting for my chance. When I got challenged I was ready and waiting and I had to prove myself. The fact that the coaches have picked me to start over the last few months has shown they have confidence in me and I have to repay that with good performances.
“I go into each week and try to fight for my place. There are a lot of good front-rowers here and I have to fight for my spot every week. It’s great starting matches as rugby is my dream job.
“It’s what I’m working for each week and I’m glad they’ve given me the opportunity to play. Playing for the Cavaliers helped me get used to playing again and allowed me to use my shoulder.
“Playing games gets your confidence back to use those skills and excites you about the game again, so mentally it was a good thing.
“With the Cavaliers, we were fortunate to have a really good side of players who were waiting in line to play for the first team.”