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Fijian legend Nemani Nadolo has confirmed his retirement date

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Nemani Nadolo has taken to social media to confirm that 2023 will be his last year as a professional rugby player. The 35-year-old exited Leicester in November to take up a one-year Super Rugby Pacific deal with the Waratahs and four appearances into his second stint with the Sydney-based franchise, he has now revealed that it will be the last campaign of his stellar career.

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“2023 will be the year that I call time in my rugby career,” he wrote in an emotional message on his social media accounts. “When I signed my first professional contract in 2008, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would go on to experience this incredible journey.

“I have had a lot of highs and a lot of lows during my time. I have travelled the world from Japan, France, UK and New Zealand. Moving home to Australia with my young family and my aging legs, I knew it was time to consider what is best for me and my future. It’s the question we all face as professional athletes, ‘What’s next?’

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RUGBYPASS INSIDERS | NADOLO – A RugbyPass Originals Documentary

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“As one chapter in my life comes to an end, another begins. I wish to thank the NSW Waratahs for bringing me home. It was always my dream to retire on home soil in front of my friends and family.

“For now, the season must go on and I look forward to finishing this season with my amazing teammates. Thank you to everyone for all the support over the years. You are the reason why we do what we do. God bless.”

A 32-cap Test veteran with Fiji, Nadolo started out at the Waratahs before heading to Europe for stints at Exeter and Bourgoin and then switching to the Green Rockets in Japan. He next appeared for the Crusaders in New Zealand before spending four seasons in France at Montpellier. Then came his post-pandemic years at Leicester before his decision to return home to the Waratahs for 2023.

His retirement message generated multiple warm responses typified by what ex-Samoan international Dan Leo wrote. “Awesome mana… been a pleasure to watch your courageous journey all these years.”

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Ex-Wales and Lions midfielder Jamie Roberts added: “Congrats mate. Enjoy the final stint with the Waratahs lads.”

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1 Comment
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A 435 days ago

Thanks Nadolo - shame we didn’t see the best of you and only got the beginning but and the end but if your career - probably best you go now though - Marky and Peaitch and young Jorgo have got this - go to STAN man you seem to fit in well there

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