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Thread: Force's 'new Lomu' cuts out Sonny Bill Williams

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Force's 'new Lomu' cuts out Sonny Bill Williams

    DESPITE speculation linking Sonny Bill Williams to the Western Force, the Super Rugby franchise is believed to have signed powerful Fijian Test winger Napolioni Nalaga.

    Nalaga has replaced Samoan winger David Smith as the Force's marquee import, which means it does not have a spot available for Williams.

    At 191cm tall and weighing 105kg, Nalaga was labelled the "new Lomu" when he burst on to the international scene a few years ago. Playing for French club Clermont, Nalaga was the leading tryscorer in the Top 14 two seasons in a row.

    Early this year Nalaga did not return for the second half of the Top 14 because of the postponement of his wedding after his fiancee was involved in a car accident.

    Released from his contract with Clermont, Nalaga was unheard of for months until he was spotted in a local rugby tournament in Fiji in May.

    Called up to the Fijian national team to play in the Pacific Nations Cup, Nalaga secured a place in Fiji's 30-man World Cup squad. The Force was looking for a big-name recruit following Wallabies winger James O'Connor's move to the Melbourne Rebels next year.

    Full article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226129294540

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    Be a good pick up if we got him.

    Love watching big wingers palm people off for the try.


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    Force sign Fijian star - Official

    By RugbyWA Media

    Napolioni Nalaga in action for Clermont
    The Emirates Western Force has secured the signature of Fijian World Cup winger and former French Top 14 Player of the Year, Napolioni Nalaga, as the club’s marquee signing for 2012.

    The 25 year old flyer is an attacking ace who won the French championship's top try scorer title in his first two seasons while also helping Clermont to the Final in both campaigns.

    He set the Top 14 alight on his arrival in 2007/08 where he scored 16 tries and backed it up again the following season, adding another 21 to his tally, along with the Top 14 ‘Player of the Year’ and French Dream Team selection.

    In 2009/10 he managed eight tries, although one mattered more than most. In front of close to 80,000 fans at the Stade de France Nalaga scored the only try of the Top 14 Final in which Clermont defeated Perpignan to claim their first French national title in nearly a century of trying.

    After four standout seasons in France Nalaga sought new challenges and is looking forward to the switch to Super Rugby, the premier provincial competition in the world, and putting his talents on displaying wearing an Emirates Western Force jersey.

    “I’m pretty excited about coming to Super Rugby, it is a competition I have been following for a long time,” Nalaga said from Fiji’s World Cup training base in New Zealand.

    “There are some very good players and the level of rugby is very high as well.

    “I enjoyed my time in France and I’m thankful for the opportunities Clermont gave me but I’m looking forward to a new challenge as well. I haven’t ever been to Perth but I know it is a good place and it will be good for my rugby.

    “I have spoken to the coach (Richard Graham) about what he wants from me. It will be an exciting season and I’ll be working hard and wanting to score tries for my new team mates and the supporters,” said Nalaga.

    Emirates Western Force Coach Richard Graham spent considerable time scouring the globe to find a player to replace French bound Samoan winger David Smith and is delighted to have secured a proven world class try scorer.

    “Nalaga obviously has the ability to score tries but also importantly he has shown that he can quickly gel into a new environment and different styles of rugby on the back of his efforts when he first arrived in France,” Graham said.

    “He is a player that can hit the ground running and coming off the back of a World Cup campaign with Fiji he’ll be in top condition when he joins us for pre-season training.

    “Given we lost David (Smith) and his try scoring I wanted a like for like replacement and I’m confident we’ve achieved that.

    “He is a big man, quick, skilful and knows his way to the line.

    “I spoke to numerous people about Nalaga, including the coach that first had him at Clermont (Joe Schmidt), and he couldn’t have spoken more highly of him as a person or the work ethic he brought to his preparation and performance.

    “We feel as though we’re bringing in a very good person and a very good rugby player,” Graham said.

    Nalaga, who captained the Fijian U21 side at the IRB Junior World Cup in 2006, is expected to play a prominent role for Fiji in their latest World Cup campaign which kicks off on Saturday against Namibia.

    Napolioni Nalaga
    DOB: 7 April 1986
    Position: Wing
    Height: 191cms
    Weight: 105kgs
    Nationality: Fijian
    Previous Clubs: 2007 – 2011 Clermont Auvergne (France) 90 apps, 61 tries
    Representative Rugby: 2009 – current Fiji National Team (Rugby World Cup 2011), 2008 Pacific Islanders, Fiji U21 (Captain), Fiji U19, Fiji Sevens
    Awards: 2009/10 Top 14 Championship (Clermont), 2008/09 Top 14 ‘Player of the Year’, 2008/09 Top 14 Leading Try Scorer, 2007/08 Top 14 Leading Try Scorer

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    Senior Player Contributor WF2006's Avatar
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    Impressive find WRF.
    If its true, he certainly looks like a more than able replacement for Dave Smith.

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    Rookie The Big I's Avatar
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    Hopefully we can get some good ball out to him.

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    Gee love to see him at 13 personally...... has he any mates that need a gig here.? Some Samoan lads amy get picked up after the RWC?

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    great signing if can get that dude...

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    We have. Its official.

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    Good pick up!.....

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    Rookie The Big I's Avatar
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    So we have signed 2 190+cm and 100kg+ wingers in the off season it should be very interesting to see how they fit those two boys and Cummins into our line up... a good problem to I have


    All I can say quick ball boys and we will be scoring at will..

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    But, can he tackle...??

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    I hear he is going to play for paly in the off season...

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    Good thing about the Top 14 being shown on Fox is you get to watch some of the talent from the Pacific Islands that is up there.

    The NH club comp has go so many brilliant players from the PI playing up there it's a shame they don't get seen down here.

    I think the recent Samoa game against your mob showcased a few though.

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  15. #15
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    Cummins looks like he is being groomed for number 15?? if the Samoan tour is any indication

    What could the backline for 2012 look like ?

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