Nemani Nadolo (formerly Ratu Nasiganiyavi, born 31 January 1988) is a Fijian rugby union player. He currently plays for Montpellier in the French Top 14 competition, usually as a wing or centre.[3]

Nemani Nadolo
Nemani Nadolo August 2015.jpg
Nadolo in 2015
Personal information
Full nameRatu Nemani Driu Nasiganiyavi
Born (1988-01-31) 31 January 1988 (age 31)
Sigatoka, Fiji
Height195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight137 kg (21 st 8 lb; 302 lb)[1][2]
Playing information
Rugby union
PositionWing, Centre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2007 Perth Spirit 2 1 5
2008–09 Randwick 7 13 65
2008 Manly
2010–11 Bourgoin 16 5 25
2011 Exeter Chiefs 4
2011–15 Green Rockets 51 55 286
2014–16 Crusaders 40 27 143
2016-–20 Montpellier 65 48 240
Total 185 149 0 0 764
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2008 Australia U20 5 7 35
2010–2019 Fiji 30 19 224
As of 24 Jan 2020

He was the overall top try scorer of the 2014 Super Rugby season competition, scoring a try in both the semi-final and final. He is known for his speed and size, and occasionally standing in as a goal-kicker for conversions and penalties. He won 30 caps for Fiji between 2010 and 2019.

Family and early lifeEdit

Ratu Nemani Driu Nasiganiyavi was born in Sigatoka, Fiji. At three months of age he moved with his family to Brisbane, Australia. His father, Isei Nasiganiyavi, played rugby for Queensland in the 1980s.[4][5]

He changed his name to Nemani Nadolo later as an adult, adopting his mother's maiden name in 2009 instead of the surname of his father who had left the family home when he was young.[6]

He attended Nudgee College, and was selected for the Queensland Schoolboys rugby team in 2005.[7][8] He is the older brother of Chris Kuridrani and Inosi Nadolo, and a cousin of Tevita Kuridrani[9] and Lote Tuqiri.[4]

Rugby careerEdit

Early careerEdit

After featuring for Perth Spirit in the 2007 Australian Rugby Championship (as Ratu Siganiyavi),[5] he headed east to play for Randwick in 2008. He hit the ground running for Randwick, scoring 13 tries in his first 7 matches. His club rugby season was punctuated by selection for the Australian Under 20 team for the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship, where he crossed 7 times in 5 matches to be the tournament's leading tryscorer.[7]

Nasiganiyavi was one of the finds of the 2008 season, with his hard-running and try-scoring prowess earning the powerhouse wing a Super 14 contract with the Waratahs.

Nasiganiyavi's size, style of play and Pacific Islander background drew him comparisons to Jonah Lomu when he signed for the Waratahs in 2008. He is documented to have a sprint time under 11 seconds over 100 metres.[10][4][11] He played his first match for the Junior Waratahs on the 2008 Development Tour of Fiji less than 200 metres from his mother's village in Nadi. After changing his name to Nemani Nadolo in November 2009,[6] he signed to play for Manly in the Shute Shield for 2010.

EuropeEdit

Nadolo signed with French Top 14 team Bourgoin-Jallieu for the 2010–11 season, but transferred to England's Exeter Chiefs in January 2011. Nadolo's brief time at Exeter was fairly troublesome. He was registered at Exeter under his Australian passport and was mistakenly picked alongside two other non-Kolpak players. This is a breach of IRB regulations and resulted in Exeter being docked two points and fined £5,000.[12] Also while at Exeter he was arrested by police for drink driving. He was subsequently banned from driving for 18 months and fined £950. Nadolo was immediately released from his contract with the club.[13]

Nadolo played for the NEC Green Rockets in the Japan Top League between 2011 and 2013.

Super RugbyEdit

In October 2013, Nadolo signed to play for Crusaders in the 2014 Super Rugby season.[14] In March 2014, he made his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Melbourne Rebels.[15] He went on to play 14 Super Rugby games, including 12 starts, in his first season and was the equal top try scorer with Israel Folau, notching 12 tries. He scored a try in both the semi-final and final but it wasn't enough to win the Super Rugby title as his Crusaders team lost to his former team, the Waratahs, by 33–32.

In August 2014, Nadolo re-signed with the Crusaders for two more seasons.[16]

Top 14Edit

In November 2015, Nadolo signed a three-year deal with French Top 14 side, Montpellier. He will leave at the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.[17]

International careerEdit

Nadolo made his Test debut in 2010 when selected in the 24-member Fiji team for a one-off match against Australia, followed by the 2010 IRB Pacific Nations Cup.

In June 2014, he joined the Fiji fifteens team for the one-off test against Italy. He was instrumental in that game playing at his preferred position of Inside centre scoring 13 points including a try. A week later in the 2014 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, he faced Tonga scoring 20 points including a try and kicking 6 conversion and a long-range penalty. A week later, against Samoa, he scored a try but it was not enough for a win as Fiji lost in a nail-biting encounter, 13–18. In his final game for Fiji in June in the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Oceania qualification match against Cook Islands. He scored a hat-trick of tries and in the process equalled the all-time record set by Christian Cullen and John Kirwan of scoring 10 tries in consecutive matches.

He returned for Fiji in 2015 and played on the wing against the Māori All Blacks in Suva but whilst scoring a try, he damaged his pectoral muscles which ruled him out for 6 weeks and the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. He was nevertheless included in the final 31-member squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He returned to play for Fiji in a warm-up game against Canada on the left wing and though he didn't score a try, he kicked 5 conversions and 4 penalties with his boot ending the game with a 100% kicking percentage. He scored a try against England in the first match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup on 18 September 2015.[18][19]

Along with teammate Timoci Nagusa, he retired from International rugby just months before the 2019 Rugby World Cup and remained with Montepelier as their season continued during the World Cup.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ (in French) Nadolo | MHR. Montpellier-rugby.com (31 January 1988). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.
  2. ^ http://en.espn.co.uk/scrum/rugby/player/117546.html
  3. ^ Knowler, Richard (8 November 2013). "Nemani Nadolo brings fear factor to Crusaders". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Tuqiri's cousin the new Jonah". Sydney Morning Herald. 24 May 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Perth Spirit squad for ARC named". sportsaustralia.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b Proszenko, Adrian (15 November 2009). "Nadolo no longer a tongue-twisting hulk – now he's just huge". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Ratu Nasiganiyavi Player Profile (Australia U20)". rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Queensland Rugby Football Schools Union – Queensland I 2005". QRFSU. 9 July 2005. Archived from the original on 8 July 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Sanday raises a profile". Fiji Times. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  10. ^ Meet rugby's man mountain plotting England's downfall. Telegraph (12 September 2015). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.
  11. ^ "Waratahs sign Ratu Nasiganiyavi". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 June 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Exeter Chiefs deducted two points and fined £5,000". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo released by Exeter Chiefs". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  14. ^ Knowler, Richard (30 October 2013). "Crusaders add power with signing of Fijian Nadolo". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Sport: Nadolo in line to make Super Rugby debut – Radio New Zealand News". Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Nadolo signs on for two more years". SANZAR Rugby. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Nadolo confirms move to Montpellier after 2016 season | Crusaders". crusaders.co.nz. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Two Mike Brown tries help nervy England beat Fiji in World Cup opener". Guardian. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  19. ^ Video: Volavola sets up Nadolo with perfect kick | Rugby | Sporting News. Sportal.com.au (18 September 2015). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.

External linksEdit