Why Cowboys? Sadrugu Tells

Sevens Duo Switch To Rugby League, Confirms NRL Club
22 Sep 2021 16:07
Why Cowboys? Sadrugu Tells
Fijian men’s 7s forward Taniela Sadrugu offloads the ball despite a tackle from veteran Australia 7s forward Lewis Holland at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville. Photo: Oceania Rugby

It’s confirmed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist, Iosefo Masi, and sevens forward Taniela Sadrugu have switched to rugby league.

The duo have signed for renowned National Rugby League (NRL) club North Queensland Cowboys for the 2022 season.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Sadrugu said, he wanted to try out rugby league.

The 23-year-old openside flanker was named Suva Rugby Union’s Player of the Year 2020 and was deemed as the next Flying Fijians star backrower.

He was part of the Fijian 7s training squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and played at the Oceania Sevens competition in Townsville, Australia.

“This opportunity does not come often, so why not take the chance,” Sadrugu said after turning down the offer to play for the Fijian Drua when the Super Rugby Pacific competition gets underway in February.

“I’ve never played rugby league at any level, so this will be a challenge.”

The Cowboys have indicated that Masi and Sadrugu will arrive in North Queensland for the pre-season in November and will train full-time alongside the Cowboys NRL squad for the duration of the 2022 season.

Masi, 23, shapes as a versatile outside back in his transition to rugby league and will spend time training at wing, centre and fullback.

Sadrugu has played most of his rugby career as a flanker and will be trained as a forward upon joining the Cowboys.

Both players have had a taste of North Queensland life as members of the Fijian sevens squad for the recent Oceania Sevens in Townsville.

Masi and Sadrugu join the Cowboys on Train and Replacement contracts, which allows them to train alongside the Cowboys NRL squad.

Following the pre-season both players will be allocated to one of the Cowboys’ three feeder clubs in the Queensland Cup, but will remain training alongside North Queensland’s NRL squad mid-week.

“Iosefo is a very skilful player who could handle playing any position in the back five,” Cowboys recruitment manager Dane Campbell said.

“He has shown a high-level of athleticism and is defensively willing, which we are confident will transfer well into rugby league. Taniela is a very tough competitor who enjoys collision and will be trained as both a middle and edge forward.

“He has good speed and comes to us highly regarded in rugby sevens circles, so we are looking forward to seeing him transition and develop his game at the Cowboys.”

The pair are going to rub shoulders with Cowboys star players like Jason Taumalolo, Valentine Holmes, John O’Neill and latest Fijian sensation, Ilaitia Moceidreke.





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