SPORTS

Nikola Wanted

Two Welsh clubs target Fijian flyer. Nikola Matawalu has emerged as a shock transfer target for both the Cardiff Blues and Scarlets. The two Welsh regions have expressed an interest
21 Dec 2018 10:00
Nikola Wanted
Glasgow Warriors half back Nikola Matawalu

Two Welsh clubs target Fijian flyer.

Nikola Matawalu has emerged as a shock transfer target for both the Cardiff Blues and Scarlets.

The two Welsh regions have expressed an interest in signing Glasgow Warriors’ Fijian flyer and a move to either Cardiff or Llanelli may well appeal to Matawalu given the fact his wife is Welsh.

Matawalu played for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Bath and Exeter as halfback before he joined Glasgow Warriors two seasons ago.

And under new Coach Dave Rennie, the talented Ra native has been in devastating form on the wing. Last week he scored two tries against Lyon in the European Champions Cup match.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is happy with Matawalu’s progress.

“He’s definitely making good news with his game,”McKee said.

“He plays with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, Matawalu is definitely on the radar for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. We definitely need players who can play multiple positions at the RWC.”

Blues head coach John Mulvihill admitted he would like to boost his side’s firepower out wide and Dragons back-three flier Hallam Amos is expected to move to the Welsh capital next season.

It means the livewire Matawalu – who has scored 34 tries during his two hugely successful stints at Glasgow – remains an attractive proposition to both teams.

Matawalu, who has won 33 times for Fiji,

All four Welsh regions had to delay their recruitment plans for next season as they attempted to thrash out a new deal with the Welsh Rugby Union.

That has since been signed, allowing a clearer picture of what each team can afford.

The Scarlets will be the highest funded region under the new Professional Rugby Agreement but with star back Johnny McNicholl yet to sign a new deal, the region are looking at alternatives.

Matawalu, 29, would certainly fit the bill with his counter attacking ability and deadly turn of pace suited to the brand of rugby played in west Wales.

Former Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach Wayne Pivac, who currently Scarlets head coach, told Rugby Paper;

“There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes in terms of the contracting model in Wales. That meant everyone has been in a bit of a holding pattern, but that will be resolved very quickly. It’s also a Rugby World Cup year so we’ve got to weigh up what we do next year versus the year after. We’ve got to be smart in terms of how we plan and recruit.”

Edited by Grace Narayan

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