Fiji wingers have work cut out against England

Nemani Nadolo faces the Canadians in Fiji's last warm up match. Photo: The Guardian

Nemani Nadolo faces the Canadians in Fiji’s last warm up match. Photo: The Guardian

Fijian wingers Nemani Nadolo and Waisea Nayacalevu have their work cut out in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham on Friday night (7am Saturday Fiji Time).

Nadolo may find it easy trying to ease past English counterpart Anthony Watson if given room to attack but will find it a difficult proposition defending against the Bath winger all night.

Nadolo’s giant frame standing at six feet five inches and weighing 128 kilos Nadolo has used power and speed to burn opponents scoring 13 tries in 15 Tests for the country, has a 32 kilo advantage on Watson.

Nadolo who has a point to prove in this Rugby World Cup, is beginning to show glimpses of his prime during his Super Rugby season with the Crusaders this year.

“Throughout my entire career, people have doubted me and said I was too big,” said Nadolo, who was 83 kilos before his 12th birthday,” Nadolo told The Daily Mail.

“I’m working hard to get into my prime. I’m not far off.”

England's Anthony Watson runs against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium. Photo: Kieran Galvin/REX Shutterstock.

England’s Anthony Watson runs against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium. Photo: Kieran Galvin/REX Shutterstock.

Watson on the other hand has been scoring tries in most matches he suits up for England and believes he has a few aces up his sleeve for the Fijian giant.

‘I’ve done my homework on him and I’ve got a few things that if the opportunity comes, I can try to implement,’ Watson said.

“If my opportunity comes I’ll try to take it with both hands.’

Waisea Nayacalevu of Stade Francais runs in to score a try during the Amlin Challenge Cup match between London Welsh and Stade Francais at Kassam Stadium in Oxford, England. Photo: Getty Images

Waisea Nayacalevu of Stade Francais runs in to score a try during the Amlin Challenge Cup match between London Welsh and Stade Francais at Kassam Stadium in Oxford, England. Photo: Getty Images

Nayacalevu, on the right flank has English new discovery Jonny May who looks like a polished product in England’s last warm up against Ireland a fortnight ago.

May improved looking hungry for work and sharpened up after some tuning up sprint tips during the his lay-off from test rugby in the latest Six-Nations series with former Olympics sprinter Marlon Devonish.

At that stage it was touch and go whether he would make the World Cup squad at all, but May convinced the England management in training this summer he was worth another shot and took his opportunity with both hands with eye-catching performances against France and Ireland. The pace – and some added power – was there for all to see.

Jonny May looked sharp against the Irish a fortnight ago. Photo: The Guardian

Jonny May looked sharp against the Irish a fortnight ago. Photo: The Guardian

“I’m happy with the way I’m playing at the moment, I’m still learning and improving and I’m really grateful to get the opportunity to play in these games,” said May.

“It’s given me an opportunity to get out there and put things right after getting dropped and to show the improvements I’ve made and gain confidence.

“It is a huge honour and privilege every time you get to represent your country. I guess it adds to that feeling of luckiness to do it at a home World Cup.”

Nayacalevu who plays at the centres or wing position for the French club Stade Francais has matured a lot with the two years in Melbourne before the Top 14 since 2013.

He is more of a well rounded finisher after cutting his teeth in the world stage playing for Fiji in the World Rugby Sevens series before his venture overseas.

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Filed under England, Fiji, Rugby World Cup

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