Fiji Sports

7s coach salutes Nalaga

Written By : ELIKI DRUGUNALEVU. Napolioni Vonawale Nalaga has capped off a wonderful 2008 rugby season by being part of Planet Rugby’s team of 2008. And according to current national
02 Jan 2009 12:00

Written By : ELIKI DRUGUNALEVU. Napolioni Vonawale Nalaga has capped off a wonderful 2008 rugby season by being part of Planet Rugby’s team of 2008.
And according to current national sevens coach Waisale Serevi who once coached Nalaga in the 2006/07 season, Nalaga deserves to be in the team because of his hard working attitude.
“I would like to congratulate Nalaga on his achievement so far and by making it into Planet Rugby’s team of 2008”, Serevi said.
“I believe he deserves to be in the team because he’s a hard working player and also a talented one and his selection is something that did not come as a surprise to me because he deserves it”.
Serevi was impressed by the talent in Nalaga and decided to rope him into the national sevens side for the 2006/07 IRB sevens series.
“I coached him in 2006/07 sevens season and like any new player he really worked hard and he really played well in the George and Dubai Sevens series and I think it’s a big improvement on his part to make it this far”, the maestro said.
Nalaga has been the star for his Clermont side in the French top division by scoring 17 tries in just 16 games and he finished off a wonderful season as the top try scorer in the competition.
Nalaga first represented Fiji to the Under 19 rugby championship where the Nasama villager from Nadroga scored seven tries for Fiji in just three games.
Nalaga was also instrumental in helping his U21 Nadroga side win the Sanyo Cup for 2 years in a row and he was later drafted into the Nadroga senior team for the Sanyo Cup and also the Farebrother Sullivan trophy.
In 2006 Nalaga played at centre rather than his usual wing position in the 2006 U21 rugby world championships where he helped the Fiji side finished 9th overall.
In another of the youngster’s recent achievement, he was picked to be part of the 2008 Pacific Islanders tour of the British Isles where he played against France but was unfortunate not to finish the game due to a red card for a dangerous tackle on the French scrumhalf.
At 22 years of age the 100kg 188cm winger from Nasama in Nadroga has achieved a lot with the world of rugby still yet to see the best of Nalaga for seasons to come.
And the man who coached Nalaga in sevens which resulted in him landing a contract for Clermont, Waisale Serevi, has wished Nalaga the best for the future as far as his rugby is concerned.
“I would like to wish him all the best and may he prosper for time to come in his rugby career”, Serevi said.



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