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Chiefs back Fa'auli itching to atone

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017

Johnny Fa'auli was banned by a SANZAAR judiciary after pleading guilty to a no-arms tackle on Bulls counterpart Jan Serfontein during the Chiefs' 28-12 win in Hamilton last month. © Getty Images Johnny Fa'auli was banned by a SANZAAR judiciary after pleading guilty to a no-arms tackle on Bulls counterpart Jan Serfontein during the Chiefs' 28-12 win in Hamilton last month. Chiefs midfielder Johnny Fa'auli is feeling the heat on a personal level after completing his four-week suspension from Super Rugby.

The 21-year-old was banned by a SANZAAR judiciary after pleading guilty to a no-arms tackle on Bulls counterpart Jan Serfontein during the Chiefs' 28-12 win in Hamilton last month.

The Taranaki player is now keen to play at his home ground in New Plymouth on Saturday against the Queensland Reds.

However, he faces a nervous wait to see if he's selected, with the team to be unveiled later on Thursday.

"It's been quite tough on the sidelines and I'm just itching to get back," he said.

"It would be really good to get back down there as it will be a special moment for us 'Naki boys to play in front of our fans, and see some family and friends."

The return of one-Test All Black Charlie Ngatai (concussion) and Samoan international Tim Nanai Williams (shoulder) from injury could work against Fa'auli's wishes.

He played in the first four games of the season, including three starts which were between two All Blacks backs - first five-eighth Aaron Cruden and centre Anton Lienert-Brown.

"At first I was pretty shocked to be training with them and to be getting demanded [bossed] around by Aaron Cruden," he said.

"I had to take a step back to realise the dream was to play with them and now it's actually happened and they made my job so easy.

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