The Brumbies No. 6 was selected to start by Michael Cheika, the former Leinster boss, just two years after he made his debut at the ripe old age of 29.
That debut came just one year after he’d returned from playing in Japan’s second division — not a bad few years for the second row.
Now he’s decamped to Europe, to Cheika’s old stomping ground in Dublin, where he has one more thing to tick off his rugby bucket list — a trophy.
“Every time I play, I’m playing to win trophies,” he said. “In the past the Brumbies played a lot of finals and I’ve played in World Cup finals and other things and I’ve missed out.
“I’m always trying to win trophies. Obviously the proud history that you’ve got in Leinster, they have the ability to win trophies and you see the names on the team sheet that have done it before. So I’d like to be part of something like that as well.”
At 33, Fardy is one of those wise old head signings Leinster like to do now and then. In 2012, it was Kiwi legend Brad Thorn who rocked up — aged 37 — and led the weightlifting rankings in the gym — and then helped push the side to European glory.
There’s no guarantee Fardy, who came to the elite game later than Thorn, will have quite the same impact, but that’s the goal.
“I think it’s what I’ve already done in my career, I think that’s what Leinster want from me, to play like I normally play and play to the best of my abilities, week in, week out,” he said.
“I don’t think I have to change anything or be like someone I’m not, I just have to play the best I can and hopefully that rubs off on other players.
“Everyone hopes I’m a doer, in leadership terms, but I’m probably a talker.
“I think I probably talk a lot but I try to do my fair share as well. When I get on the field you can’t really shut me up.”
He may talk a lot on the field, but there was no need to talk with Cheika when the chance arose to move to Dublin.
“I just told him I was going there, I said I’m going and that was about it,” Fardy said. “I think he was happy that I was going to a club that he was part of and had success with. From playing underneath him, he talks passionately about Leinster and his time here and the people of Dublin.
“I had the opportunity to live in the UK or Europe but this just came up. Having the opportunity to win big games in Europe is something I always wanted to do so when Leinster came knocking, I was straight away very interested in coming.”
Having tasted the rugby life in Australia and Japan, Fardy is now getting used to life in D4, where he has discovered a squad and a group of Irishmen that are quite the culture clash.
“I guess what you’ve got here is guys born within 100kms of each other, they come from singular backgrounds,” he said.
“When you play in Australia, you’ve got guys from Fiji, from New Zealand, from Papa New Guinea, from south Brisbane, western Sydney, all these other parts of Australia, and then they’re mixed up from guys with private school backgrounds and some guys are farmers. So it’s a complete mix of players.
“Some guys who are really talented, they come from different backgrounds and it makes them who they are as a player, it gives them that fight and personality that they have some indiscretions in their time as well.
“I wasn’t part of too many in my time there, I haven’t seen that much stuff. I wasn’t a big drinker or big party going guy but the range of guys you get in the Australian team is quite different to what you get in the Leinster and Ireland team. Culturally it’s a lot different.”