The forgotten man of the Wallabies’ all-star back-row has become the unsung hero of their gutsy push for World Cup glory.
Despite standing nearly two metres tall and sporting a bushman’s beard, Fardy never garners the attention and plaudits heaped on David Pocock and Michael Hooper.
But that’s only because much of his toil is the grunt work required by his blindside flanker position, cleaning out at rucks and bruising close-in defence.
And if he’s underrated by the general public, the feeling is certainly not the same within the Wallabies’ dressing room.
Fardy had perhaps his finest game for Australia in their tense 29-15 semi-final victory over Argentina on Sunday (Monday AEDT), lifting his teammates with his inpirational efforts.
His match up with All Blacks hardman Jerome Kaino will be a huge feature of the forward battle in World Cup decider.
Australia made a monstrous 142 tackles against Argentina – more even than in their extraordinary defensive display against against Wales, where they held firm despite being two men down for seven minutes.
Fardy led all tacklers in the match with 16 and it was his crucial shutdown of an Argentinian attacking raid late in the second half, with the Wallabies clinging to a seven-point lead, which halted a late push from the courageous Pumas.
And that’s not to mention the two turnovers he notched – including one to start the second half to a penalty, and a three-point kick to Bernard Foley, which steadied Australia’s charge in a tight tussle.
As is often the case, Fardy was forced from the field under the blood rule and finished the game with another couple of stitches in his already grizzled face – but he also had a Wallabies legend sit up and take notice.
“He doesn’t get a lot of plaudits, but Scott Fardy was outstanding – particularly in defence,” champion five-eighth Michael Lynagh said.
“He snuffed out some very promising Argentinian moves there. I thought he was great.”