Fiji lose Nalaga for November Tests

Clermont try scoring machine Napolioni Nalaga. Photo: Planet Rugby

Clermont try scoring machine Napolioni Nalaga. Photo: Planet Rugby

Clermont wing Napolioni Nalaga will miss Fiji’s November Tests against France, Wales and the USA due to family reasons, Fiji coach John McKee told AFP on Sunday.

The prolific 28-year-old has scored nine tries in 16 internationals for Fiji, but won’t be adding to that this winter.

“He expressed that he didn’t want to be considered for this tour,” said McKee.

“That is his decision, he had some family things to attend to. I respect that.”

However, New Zealander McKee believes the Clermont star will be available come next year’s World Cup.

“On his performances, he would be in the team,” he added.

“He is one of the best players, I would want him on the team. He can well be in the team for the World Cup.

Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo is also out of the first Test against France in Marseille next Saturday but should be fit for the trip to Cardiff to face Wales a week later.

“He won’t be fit for the French game but I hope he will be OK for the Welsh game,” said McKee.

New Montpellier signing Samisoni Viriviri may only be on the standby list for the November Tests but McKee said he believes the wing – who can also play full-back – will break into his squad in time for the World Cup.

“Next year he’ll be amongst the top group, he’s very talented,” said McKee of the 26-year-old former Fiji Sevens stalwart.

“He is a little bit in a transition from sevens to 15.”

Nine France-based players are in McKee’s squad including Top 14 top tryscorer Alipate Ratini of Grenoble and fellow wing Metuisela Talebula of Bordeaux-Begles.

Fiji’s third and final Test this month takes place in Vannes, Brittany on Novbember 21 against the United States.

  • Planet Rugby

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Filed under Europe Fiji players, Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji tour, Flying Fijians, France, November Tests, Top 14

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