Rugby

Semi Joining Camp

The prospect of Radradra featuring in the midfield against France could pit two of Europe’s most in-form centres against each other with Virimi Vakatawa for Les Bleus on November 15.
04 Nov 2020 13:25
Semi Joining Camp
Flying Fijians utility back, Semi Radradra.

The news of Semi Radradra joining the camp in Limoges, France today should bring good tidings to  the Vern Cotter –coached Flying Fijians.

The team’s preparation for the Autumn Nations Cup suffered setbacks all along and Cotter is finding it hard to put together a good team for test rugby.

The cancellations of the Barbarians vs England game last month, the Flying Fijians warm up match on Saturday against Portugal in France and three players tested positive in Limoges has made it difficult for Cotter to put his plan to work.

And the unavailability of players like Pau centre Jale Vatubua made things worse for Cotter and his coaching team.

But the news of Radradra joining camp should at least bring joy and comfort to his fellow Fijians.

According to a report by RMC Sport, the Fijian centre has reportedly recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up in the Challenge Cup final faster than expected and could feature in Fiji’s opening game against France on November 15 at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint Etienne before clashes with Italy and Scotland.

The prospect of Radradra featuring in the midfield against France could pit two of Europe’s most in-form centres against each other with Virimi Vakatawa likely to continue at outside centre for Les Bleus.

Radradra could return to the centres for Fiji after starring at the 2019Rugby World Cup on the wing. Josua Tuisova has been in excellent form for Lyon on the wing while the return of Nemani Nadolo could be another indication of his move back to the No.13 jumper. Cotter can therefore bank on Levani Botia (La Rochelle), Serupepeli Vularika (Suva) and Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais) for inside centre.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor said Radradra joining the team was ‘the least of our priority at the moment.’

“The important thing for us is our players who have been tested positive for coronavirus. We can comment on Radradra later,”O’Connor said.

The Fijians have been supported by the medical arm of the French Rugby Union and the Six Nations who are organising the Autumn Nations tournament. The Fiji team will be tested twice a week along with the seven other competing teams.

Radradra, 28, has been a standout for the Bristol Bears since making the switch from Bordeaux. He set a sensational try inside the first minute of the Challenge Cup Final against Toulon while he also helped the side reach the Premiership semi-finals scoring two tries and assisting a further two in just 8 appearances.

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