Brumbies powerhouse Ita Vaea will storm into his third season of Super Rugby in 2013 after claiming 27 caps over the last two seasons. A born No 8, Jake White experimented with Vaea during 2012, moving the hulking Tongan from the back of the scrum to both blind and open-side flanker. One of the most feared ball carriers in the competition, Vaea made his presence felt against the Sharks in Canberra last season, running over the top of Bismarck Du Plessi after a powerful fend to the champion hooker’s sternum. It was a textbook Vaea play and one that bought the entire crowd at Canberra Stadium to its feet. Raised in Tonga but schooled at New Zealand’s Nelson College, Vaea was originally under the watchful eye of Crusaders development staff before moving to Brisbane to be close to his family. After being ruled ineligible to represent the New Zealand Schoolboys because of his Tongan heritage, Vaea went back to Tonga to play for their Under 20’s side which competed at the Junior World Cup in Japan in 2009. It was the second time Vaea had been picked to represent his country after being named in an under 15’s side in 2005. A crowd favourite thanks to his strength and surprisingly agile skill set, Vaea has committed to entertaining at Canberra Stadium until the end of 2014 after re-signing with the Brumbies midway through the 2012 Super Rugby season.
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