Nadolo returns home
If you looked at a programme of the 2005 Australian Schools Rugby Union Championships you would see some names on the Queensland I’s team sheet you would know now.
3. Ben Daley, 7. David Pocock, 9. Will Genia and 10. Ben Lucas were regular starters, but in the reserves there were James Hanson and rising schoolboy star Quade Cooper.
But not many would recognise the name of another reserve: Nemani Nasiganiyavi, from St. Josephs College (Nudgee).
Nasiganiyavi, the brother of current Red Chris Kuridrani and cousin of both Lote Tuqiri and Tevita Kuridrani, came to Australia with his family when he was a youngster. His father, Iliesa Siganiyavi, played for Queensland.
After school he played for the Perth Spirit in the 2007 Australian Rugby Championships and the following year, now known by the name of Ratu Nasigaviyani, he showed up at Randwick.
Nemani Nadolo (v. Brumbies 2014) flying now
I lost count of the number of tries he scored for Randwick one day against my Warringah Rats team because it was shocking viewing, but it might have been four, though some said, six. There was some lovely side-stepping in that match but not from the big bloke—defenders were getting out of his way as best they could.
He played for the Australian Under 20s in 2008 and was picked up by the Waratahs, but never got on the park for them.
I remember being critical of his handling and general diligence around the field and was not surprised when he was cut by the Tahs.
He played for Manly later and the next I saw of him was when he ran on for Exeter in the English premiership. He had changed his name to Nemani Nadolo by that time in honour of his mother.
He played a couple of good games for them but was cut because of an off-field matter, and he went to Japan.
Nadolo again – got the last laugh at Suncorp
He appeared for Fiji v. Australia off the bench in Canberra one time, and the next occasion I saw him play for them was on their 2013 end-of-year-tour. I sat up in my armchair because his name was in the captions as starting at inside centre for Fiji against Italy.
I always thought 12 was his natural position and although he got a yellow card (one of several that day for his team), he was sensational in a narrow loss.
The Crusaders picked him up for 2014 from Japan to get a big bloke on the wing and he became a starting player.
I can’t fault the Waratahs for cutting him nor other Aussie teams for not picking him up at the time he went overseas.
But Nemani Nadolo got the last laugh by scoring two tries against the Reds on Sunday.