Paenga-Mosa's crazy Wallabies experience

By Tamati Tiananga

Kiwi-born Reds and Wallaby player, Brandon Paenga-Mosa, was a bolter in this year's Australian side making his international debut in Brisbane.

Paenga-Mosa says, "Crazy experience, really humbling experience, just overwhelming, to put on the Green and Gold, Australia has really helped me out." 

The Ngāti Porou and Te Rarawa descendant ran on in the number 2 jersey for the Wallabies who defeated Ireland, 18-9.

"To run out onto the pitch to play with some of the best players and playing with the best players in the world it was crazy, I never would have thought this time last year I'd be a Wallaby playing against the Irish, it was a crazy feeling and crazy experience," said Paenga-Mosa.  

Like many Kiwi kids, the dream was to become an All Black. He was also unsuccessful in making representing his Samoan heritage missing out on the Samoan U20's side in 2015. 

He returned to Australia and while playing for NSW Country Eagles in 2017 his chance came to play Super Rugby in 2018. 

"Just learning from Brad Thorn, the best in the world, he has that real Queensland, Kiwi, All Black old school mindset, he really teaches me to work hard and be go at it, for example my set piece, my scrumming, my line-outs it's really helped with Brad Thorn because he is clinical at those things."   

The phone call from a Former All Black, Queensland's Head Coach Brad Thorn has opened helped open the door to the international stage.  

Brandon Paenga-Mosa says, "I was buzzing just knowing an All Black actually contacted me, and I was like holly this is crazy, and just knowing he was a Kiwi just helped me settle in very well and made me feel comfortable being at the Reds with one of my own, a Kiwi there."     

Paenga-Mosa also had a stint in Rugby League in the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs system before switching to rugby Union at the age of fifteen. Australia has given him this chance and he intends upholding his Kiwi connection.

"My mum's father, he is from Gisborne, from Whāngārā so my iwi is Ngāti Porou and my grandmother is from up North, from Ahipara, 90-Mile Beach and her iwi is Te Rarawa. That's my mum's side and my dad is Samoan, he is from Fasito'iuta."

The 22-year-old hooker's pride will be tested if he is selected to face the All Blacks in the Investec Championship Series on August 18 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. 

When I was a kid I'd go hundy -  100% for the All Blacks, I would cry sometimes when the All Blacks lose, but slowly towards the back end of high school that's when I made my switch to Aus - Australia."

Paenga-Amosa looks to retain the Wallabies' hooker jumper for the Investec Championship in next month.