SPORTS

Nakarawa Tipped To Join Tigers

The Mokoisa, Kadavu native has been rated as one of the best candidate for the vacant back row position for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby giants Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
18 May 2020 13:33
Nakarawa Tipped To Join Tigers
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians lock forward Leone Nakarawa after signing with the Glasgow Warriors.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians lock forward Leone Nakarawa could be signing with a new club when rugby resumes.

The Mokoisa, Kadavu native has been rated as one of the best candidate for the vacant back row position for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby giants Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

And together with Rupeni Caucaunibuca and Waisale Serevi, he has been rated in the top 10 as the game best entertainers by The Times rugby writers Stephen Jones and Stuart Barnes.

Nakarawa was fired by Top 14 club Racing 92 last year for not turning up in time for the new season after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and was quickly snapped up by former club Glasgow Warriors in the PRO14 competition.

Now residing in Waila, Nausori due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is being singled out as a possible replacement for England and British & Irish Lions locks Maro Itoje together with Nick Isiekwe (England), Devin Toner (Ireland), Scott Fardy (Australia) and George Kruis ( England).

Speaking to Rugby Pass Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Geordan Murphy has ruled out rumours of signing Saracens second row Itoje. But the Irishman did confirm the club were finalizing a deal for a player in that position.

“That (Itoje rumor) is not true. Like everything this season, we have been attached to quite a few rumors. Maro Itoje is a fantastic player but is not in our plans at present,” he said.

“We actually are in the process of finalising someone in that position and we will release that when we are ready, hopefully early next week.

Meanwhile, Barnes rates late All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu as the greatest entertainer in world rugby history, but his media colleague Jones prefers Fijian flyer Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

Lomu topped Barnes’ top 10 box office draws in an article in The Times with the former England first five –eighth anointing the All Blacks wing’s four-try demolition of England in 1995 as his “Michael Jordan moment’’.

Barnes listed Lomu ahead of two former No 10s – England’s World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson and mercurial ex-All Black Carlos Spencer.

Jones, the veteran Sunday Times rugby correspondent, went for Caucaunibuca at No 1, ahead of Lomu and Wales wing Shane Williams.

Lomu, Barnes said, was “the easiest choice of all the top ten No 1s’’ in The Times rugby ratings series. “With the size of a second row and the speed and dexterity of a wing Lomu transformed our perception of what rugby could be in just one afternoon in Cape Town when he scored four World Cup semi-final tries against England’ [in 1995].

“It was the Michael Jordan moment that didn’t quite create the ‘global game’ but that’s more to do with the sport than the man. The biggest box office draw of them all. RIP.’’

Jones said Caucaunibuca – who scored 15 tries in 14 matches for the Blues from 2002 to 2004 – would have been the “all-time great wing’’ had he played for the All Blacks.

“He was a wonder runner, and the odd thing was as his weight ascended, it appeared that his elusiveness also became greater. He used to run lines that astonished you, he made gaps out of little cracks in a defence.’’

Screenshot 2020-05-18 at 1.30.50 PM

Edited by Osea Bola

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