Gloucester legend Fanolua set to make shock playing comeback
LEGENDARY former Gloucester player Terry Fanolua is ready to lace up his boots for a return to county rugby, writes Nick Purewal.
Seven years after leaving the Cherry and Whites, the 39-year-old Samoan could be primed for a playing return in Gloucestershire – with Hartpury RFC.
Rugby director Alan Martinovic has confirmed Hartpury have registered Fanolua as a player, and are weighing up when to send him into National League Two South action.
Fanolua racked up 228 appearances in nine Kingsholm years, before switching to Brive in France.
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But after a coaching stint with Soyaux-Angouleme the 29-cap Samoa centre is back in Gloucester, and has now linked up with Hartpury.
Boss Martinovic said Hartpury will monitor Fanolua's progress in training over the next few weeks, with a view to pitching him into action.
Martinovic said Fanolua's experience and attitude can be an important teaching tool for his young squad.
He explained: "Despite having the likes of Chris Fortey out there against Cambridge at the weekend, we still had a squad with an average age of around 20 years old.
"So Terry can definitely bring his vast experience to bear on our young squad, and he is already making an impression on the players in training.
"We have registered Terry, and if he feels he's ready to in the next couple of weeks, then I see no reason for him not to put the boots back on."
Hartpury flanker Ellis Genge was sent off in Saturday's 19-13 home victory over Cambridge for an alleged bite.
The Bristol Rugby Academy prospect faces an RFU disciplinary hearing tomorrow.