Recently retired Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo believes the proposed World League will be an excellent tournament in the long-run for the development of the Pacific Island nations.
The Montpellier-based speedster admitted he was initially angry when plans for the new tournament were first leaked and suggested there would be no role at all for the island teams.
However, with their inclusion since clarified and World Rugby suggesting on Thursday that the tournament could be worth £5billion for the sport, Nadolo has changed his tune and now feels the new event will be the vehicle to more rapidly close the gap in standards between the tier one and two nations.
“When the first rumours came out, I was furious because it would be totally illogical that Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are not integrated,” said Nadolo in the Friday edition of French newspaper Midi Olympique.
“The Pacific nations have contributed immensely to this game, with players now playing for all major countries. France has Vakatawa, Nakaitaci, soon Raka… that would be justice.
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“We must also see things from a commercial point of view because rugby is now money. When World Rugby decided to join Japan and the United States, we all know it was a story of markets… but thanks to the rugby community, the authorities realised that they also had to choose the best teams.
“The tier two nations would play a lot of games against the big nations, 11 Tests a year, and their level will necessarily progress. The gap between tier two and tier one is expected to decrease quite rapidly. It would be a very good thing. But if this reform passes, I’m afraid it affects the interest in the World Cup.”
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Please check out the message from @GeorgianRugby President, Mr. Gocha Svanidze on the developments regarding the World Rugby League and its proposed possible structure pic.twitter.com/KOLY1G2YY6
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That’s a tournament which Nadolo won’t be gracing with his presence in Japan later this year. Aged just 31, he recently decided to retire from international rugby after making just 30 appearances since a June 2010 debut.
“I’ve been thinking about this decision for 12 months. I called the club two days before making it public. Everyone was surprised, shocked. He [Vern Cotter] was looking for a joker to replace me during the World Cup.
“When I played last June, I had a thought: if you wake up one day and you hesitate about your job, it is the moment to stop. This is what happened to me with the Fijian team, whereas I feel that I still have a lot to give in Montpellier.”
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