Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu (born 13 June 1992) is a Fijian professional rugby union player, and former rugby league player. He currently plays for French club Bordeaux and the Fiji national team.
|Full name||Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu|
|Born||13 June 1992|
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||111 kg (17 st 7 lb; 245 lb)|
|Position||Center, Wing, Fullback|
As of 6 September 2019
Primarily a wing in both codes, Radradra played for Fiji in sevens (rugby union) in 2011. He began his professional career playing rugby league for the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League, and played international rugby league for Fiji and Australia.
Hailing from the village of Somosomo in Taveuni, Radradra worked in the mines in Vatukoula and owned his own kava farm in Fiji. He played amateur rugby union for the Vatukoula Rugby Union club, and was selected to represent the Fiji U20 team at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship, playing at centre in four matches. Later the same year, Radradra represented the Fiji national rugby sevens team at the 2011 Dubai Sevens, where he was scouted by the Parramatta Eels.
In round 18, Radradra made his NRL debut for the Eels against the Penrith Panthers on the wing in the Eels 10–17 loss at Parramatta Stadium. In round 20, against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Radradra scored his first NRL try in the Eels 12–40 loss at ANZ Stadium. Radradra finished the 2013 season with 5 tries in 7 appearances. Radradra was selected in the Fiji squad for the 2013 World Cup, playing in 3 matches and scoring a try in the 12–34 loss to England.
In February, Radradra was selected in the Eels inaugural Auckland Nines squad and was the tournament's highest try scorer with 5 tries, alongside the North Queensland Cowboys' Kyle Feldt. In round 1, against the New Zealand Warriors, Radradra scored a hat-trick in the Eels' 36–16 win at Parramatta Stadium, earning the nickname Semi-Trailer. In May, Radradra played for Fiji in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International against Samoa at centre in the 16–32 loss. On 4 June, Radradra re-signed with the Eels on a 4-year contract worth $1 million until the end of the 2018 season. He was named 2014 Dally M Winger of the year. Radradra played in all of the Eels 24 matches and scored 19 tries. He was awarded the Fiji Bati International Player of the Year Award.
At the start of the year, Radradra played for the Eels in the 2015 Auckland Nines. In round 1, against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, he scored a hat-trick of tries in the Eels' 42–12 win at Parramatta Stadium. Radradra was the first player to score consecutive hat-tricks in the first round of two separate NRL seasons. In round 17, against the West Tigers, he broke a 61-year-old record by becoming the first player to score 2 or more tries in 5 consecutive games when he scored his double in the Eels' 28–16 win at ANZ Stadium. The previous record was held by Ray Preston. In the final round of the season against the Canberra Raiders, Radradra scored 2 tries in the Eels' golden-point 24–28 loss to finish with 24 tries in 18 games, making him the top try-scorer of the season. This was a club record, surpassing Steve Ella's previous record of 23 tries. Radradra was named the Dally M Winger of the Year, for the second year in a row, and was named on the wing in the 2015 RLIF Team of the Year, the first Fijian player to do so.
On 1 February 2016, Radradra again played in the Auckland Nines. On 13 February, he played for the World All Stars against the Indigenous All Stars in the 2016 All Stars match, playing on the wing and scoring a try in his team's 12–8 win at Suncorp Stadium. Early into the 2016 season, he declared that he wanted to play international football for Australia after he found out he was qualified for Australia on residency grounds, so he changed allegiances from Fiji, commenting "I want to be known as the best Fijian rugby player around the world and I want to be playing the top teams," Radradra said. "I want to play alongside all the big names. That's how I made my decision and Australia is the right team for me to showcase my talent". However, while being eligible for Australia, he was ruled ineligible for New South Wales because he did not play junior football in the state before the age of 13. His decision to switch over to play for Australia drew plenty of criticism in the lead-up to the 2016 Anzac Test. On 6 May 2016, Radradra made his debut for Australia against New Zealand in the Anzac Test. He played on the wing and was sin-binned early into the match for a professional foul in the 16–0 win at Hunter Stadium. In June 2016, Radradra was charged with domestic violence which happened in 2014 and 2015 against his ex-partner and it was rumoured that he would not return to play for Parramatta. Radradra finished his highly published 2016 NRL season with him playing in 19 matches and scoring 12 tries for the Eels. On 24 September 2016, Radradra played in the Prime Minister's XIII team against Papua New Guinea, where he played on the wing and scored a try in the 58–0 win in Port Moresby. In October 2016, Radradra was overlooked from Mal Meninga’s 24-man Australia Kangaroos 2016 Four Nations squad due to him being on trial for domestic violence charges.
In round 2, against the St George Illawarra Dragons, Radradra scored a career best 4-tries in the 34–16 victory at WIN Stadium. Radradra was the first Eels player to score 4 tries in match since Jarryd Hayne during the 2006 NRL season. On August 24, Radradra scored 4 tries in Parramatta's big win over Brisbane 52–34. The following week, Radradra scored a hat-trick in Parramatta's victory over Souths to seal a top four spot. In his final game for Parramatta, Radradra scored a 90-metre solo try in Parramatta's elimination final loss to North Queensland. Radradra finished 2017 with 22 tries in 26 appearances.
In late 2016, it was widely rumoured – and later confirmed in January 2017 – that Radradra had signed a one-year deal for French Top 14 club Toulon. The move would not take place until after the 2017 NRL season. Radradra made his debut for Toulon in round 7 of the 2017–18 Top 14 season against Bordeaux. Radradra scored his first try for the club in the European Rugby Champions Cup with his first touch of the game and just 62 seconds into the match on 21 October 2017, against Italian club Benetton. This followed his Toulon debut a fortnight in advance.
Radradra was selected for the Barbarians to face England in May 2018. Scoring one try and winning the match by 18 points (45–63) at Twickenham Stadium, London, Radradra was named man of the match.
In May 2018, Radradra was named in coach John McKee's 2018 Pacific Nations Cup for Fiji. In the November 2018 internationals, he scored a try in Fiji's 21-14 win over France. The first time in history for Fiji to record a win against France in the fifteens format of the game.
Radradra was named in the Fiji squad for the 2018 London Sevens tournament. Radradra scored three tries in total, winning the title and beating South Africa 21–17 at Twickenham Stadium, London.
Radradra is nicknamed "Semi Trailer".
In early 2017, Radradra was charged with two counts of domestic violence-related common assault toward his ex-partner. In early May after these public revelations, the charges were dropped when in court it was revealed that his ex-partner was lying in an attempt to blackmail Radradra. In the aftermath of the charges being dropped, television personality Erin Molan was criticised by sections of the media for supposedly painting Radradra as being guilty and not giving the player the presumption of innocence when the allegations were first aired. Molan had publicly stated that Radradra deserved the presumption of innocence, and rather than being specifically about his case, her comments were about what the NRL's stance ought to be in the event of domestic violence being found proven against a player.
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- Proszenko, Adrian (10 March 2014). "Kava farmer Semi Radradra drawn to Eels by Jarryd Hayne". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- 2011 IRB Junior World Championship match reports from World Rugby: France U20 24 - 12 Fiji U20; Fiji U20 26 - 18 Tonga; Wales U20 20 - Fiji U20 34; Fiji U20 17 - 104 South Africa U20.
- "Sevens: Jarryd Hayne gets backing from former Fiji sevens and Eels star". NZ Herald. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
Semi Radradra (L) playing for Fiji during the Dubai Rugby Sevens World Series semi-final in 2011.
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- "Squads For Auckland Nines". Rugby League Week. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
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- Daniel Lane (29 May 2014). "Semi Radradra too valuable for Eels to lose, says Ken Sio". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "Gutsy Samoa Secures Place in Four Nations Tournament". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
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- Michael Carayannis. "Dally M 2014: Johnathan Thurston, Jarryd Hayne named first joint winners". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
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- "Anthony Watmough in the Thick of it as Parramatta Thrash Manly 42-12". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "Semi Radradra Looms as Eric Grothe Reincarnate After Try Scoring Feats". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Parramatta Eels winger Semi Radradra bags another double in rout of Wests Tigers". Stuff.co.nz. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Semi Radradra Breaks Dteve Ella's Eels Points Coring Record". The Australian. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
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- "World All Stars beat Indigenous All Stars 12-8 at Lang Park as ARL Commission chairman John Grant confirms clash's future - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- Brad Walter (2 May 2016). "Why Semi Radradra believes playing for Australia will make him a hero in Fiji". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Parramatta Eels' Semi Radradra dismisses reports he wants to leave NRL over State of Origin eligibility". ABC. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- Daniel Lane. "Australia coach Mal Meninga says Fijian flier Semi Radradra is a true blue Kangaroo". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "UPDATED: Representative Round team lists". NRL.com. 28 February 2016. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Australian Kangaroos debutant Semi Radradra sin binned six minutes into Test v New Zealand Kiwis". Fox Sports. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- Press, Australian Associated (30 June 2016). "Semi Radradra taken into custody after domestic violence allegations" – via The Guardian.
- "NRL 2016: Eels winger Semi Radradra has leave extended by Parramatta". 29 June 2016.
- "Report, pictures: PM's XIII smashes PNG".
- "Andrew Fifita and Semi Radradra overlooked by Roos due to off-field problems". stuff.co.nz.
- "NRL: Dragons v Eels score result, Michael Jennings, Semi Radradra". 12 March 2017.
- "Eels star Semi Radradra signs with French rugby club Toulon". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 November 2016.
- "Semi Radradra to leave Parramatta Eels for French rugby union after 2017 NRL season". ABC. 11 January 2017.
- "Semi Radradra makes impressive rugby debut for Toulon in French Top 14". Fox Sports Australia. 9 October 2017.
- "Radradra pulls off huge hit in debut for Toulon". Yahoo7. 9 October 2017.
- "Former NRL star Semi Radradra scores first rugby union try for Toulon". Fox Sports Australia. 23 October 2017.
- "WATCH: Radradra scores sensational first try with first touch". Sporting News. 21 October 2017.
- "Semi Radradra to stay in France". The Australian. 3 February 2018.
- "NRL 2018: Semi Radradra signs new French rugby deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 February 2018.
- "Semi Radradra selected in Barbarians to play England at Twickenham". The Daily Telegraph. 21 May 2018.
- "England vs. Barbarians". BBC Sport. 27 May 2018.
- "England left 'shocked' by Barbarians after suffering record defeat against side who trained three times all week". The Independent. 27 May 2018.
- "Ex-NRL sensation Semi Radradra set to make Flying Fijian debut after being named in John McKee's squad for Pacific Nations Cup". Fox Sports Australia. 11 May 2018.
- "Sport: Semi Radradra named in Fiji 7s team for London". Radio New Zealand. 2 June 2018.
- "Fiji Sevens move closer to World Rugby Sevens Series Title after London success". Sky Sports. 3 June 2018.
- "London Sevens: Fiji takes command of series with victory over South Africa". CNN. 3 June 2018.
- "London Sevens title broadens smile on faces of in-form Fiji". The Telegraph. 3 June 2018.
- "Eric Grothe Predicts Semi Radradra Will Bounce Back Quick From Injury". Daily Telegraph. 17 March 2015.
- Kembrey, Melanie (13 February 2017). "Eels star Semi Radradra pushed partner into wall causing her to black out: court". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Hook, Chris (2 May 2017). "NRL star Semi Radradra faces court on domestic violence charges". Daily Telegraph.