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Lieutenant Leone Nakarawa OF (born 2 April 1988)[1] is a Fijian rugby union footballer and Olympic gold medalist. He previously played as a Second-Row forward for the Glasgow Warriors and represents the Fijian national team in international rugby. In 2016, he signed for Racing 92. In 2018 he was awarded the European Professional Rugby Player of the Year accolade.[2]

Leone Nakarawa, OF
Leone Nakarawa June 2014 (cropped).jpg
Date of birth (1988-04-02) 2 April 1988 (age 31)
Place of birthTavua, Fiji
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight109 kg (17 st 2 lb; 240 lb)
SchoolTavua College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Glasgow Warriors
Racing 92
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Fiji Barbarians ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2009– Fiji 57 (65)
Correct as of 7 September 2019
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
2012– Fiji 5

Nakarawa is generally considered to be one of the best lock forwards in the world.[3] He is most famous for his offloading skills, athleticism and general play in open field.

The talented Second-Row forward debuted for Fiji against Tonga at Nuku'alofa on 13 June 2009. He played in the Pacific Nations Cup for Fiji in 2010 and was one of Fiji's only bright sparks in their campaign at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

In 2011, New Zealand had to make an exemption to their ban on Fiji Military personnel entering the country in order for Nakarawa to play in the World Cup games. He later quit the army to focus fully on his rugby career.[4]

Nakarawa played for Fiji Barbarians and resisted moves to France and England; not moving to Europe until signing his first professional contract with Glasgow Warriors.[5]

He signed for Glasgow Warriors in August 2013. While with the Warriors he occasionally turned out for the amateur club Glasgow Hawks.[6]

Nakarawa was named Man of the Match for Glasgow in the 2015 Pro12 Grand Final in Belfast. He had the most offloads in the 2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup with 25.[7]

After a hugely successful season, Nakarawa was selected to play for Fijian national team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. He was subsequently named in the World Cup Dream Team at the end of the tournament.[citation needed]

Nakarawa moved to Racing 92 after the World Cup. After his first season in France, Nakarawa was named in the Pro12 Dream Team at the end of the 2015/16 season.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Nakarawa was part of the Fiji team in rugby sevens, where he scored a try in the final in a one-sided 43-7 victory over Great Britain to claim the gold medal, which was also Fiji's first ever Olympic medal in any sport.

Honours and awardsEdit

After the 2016 Summer Olympics, Nakarawa was awarded the Officer of the Order of Fiji.[8]


  1. ^ "Leone Nakarawa". Rio2016. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Nakarawa wins best player title". The Fiji Times. 14 May 2018.
  3. ^ "The 100 Best Players In The World: 3 Leone Nakarawa". February 2018.
  4. ^ Mortimer, James. "Leone Nakarawa quits army to represent Fiji". Adidas. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Glasgow Warriors sign Fijian international forward Leone Nakarawa". Sky Sports.
  6. ^ "Glasgow Hawks avenge Edinburgh Accies defeat".
  7. ^ "Champions Cup Home : – European Rugby Champions Cup".
  8. ^ Talebula Kate (26 August 2016). "Medals of honour". The Fiji Times. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External linksEdit