Rugby Union

Likely future Scottish International shines for NSW Waratahs

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Standing at 6 foot 5 and weighing in at 120kg, Taqele Naiyaravoro epitomises the modern day rugby union winger.

Tall enough to catch any high ball, menacing in defence and strong enough to hold off several defenders to score in the corner he is a match for anyone on the field.

Yet another product of Fiji's factory line of monster players, Naiyaravoro has already played top level Rugby League and has been in fine form in his first season with the Waratahs, scoring 9 tries in 19 appearances and forcing himself onto the radar of the National selectors, with Michael Cheika a rumoured fan.

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Rapid rise

A Fiji U16 international, Naiyaravoro made the switch to New Zealand to play a better standard of school rugby at the Otahuhu Rugby Club.

Flirting between the flanker and winger positions, he was picked up by League side the Balmain Tigers where he went on to thoroughly impress at youth level and in the New South Wales Cup. Scoring 23 tries in his first 15 games, he quickly attracted the attention of the Fiji National Rugby League team where he was handed his debut, aged 22.

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It didn't take Naiyaravoro long to force himself into the Rugby Union spot light either, and he was handed his first contract by the Parramatta Two Blues in April 2014, who worked with him in a relationship with Super 14 side the Waratahs.

After impressing in his debut season, it seemed like the next logical step was to follow such greats as Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt, by getting a call up to the Australian Rugby Union squad after previously representing the country at Rugby League.

bold decision

However, on the 18th May Taqele Naiyaravoro signed a contract with Pro 12 champions the Glasgow Warriors, to start playing for the Scottish side from the start of the 2015/16 season.

This move will classify the big winger as unavailable for selection to the Wallabies squad as he will be an 'over seas player' without sufficient international experience. Signing a contract believed to be worth around £175,000 a year, Naiyaravoro will be one of the highest paid players in the Pro 12 and will be available for selection for the Scottish National Squad once he officially becomes a citizen - after at least 3 years of residency.

His move will further improve the Warriors' squad, ahead of their attempt to win back to back titles for the first time in the professional era.

You can expect a big future from the Fijian born winger, who will have youth level International caps, National Rugby League caps and a Super 14 semi-final under his belt by the time he gets to the Glasgow Warriors. There is bound to be an 'International clause' in his contract, meaning in 3 years time you can expect to see him pulling on a Scotland shirt for the 2019 Six Nations, a thought that will be giving young England wingers Jack Nowell and Anthony Watson nightmares already.

With the monster winger heading north for the next season, I for one can not wait to see him terrorising the best that Great Britain can send against him. 

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Topics:
Rugby Union
Australia Rugby
Scotland Rugby

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