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'Great day': Nemani Nadolo leads charge in hailing arrival of new Pasifika Super Rugby teams

By Josh Raisey

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Fiji winger Nemani Nadolo has said that the announcement by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) that  Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua have been granted conditional licences to join a planned new professional Super Rugby competition next year is a “great day for rugby as a whole”. 

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The 33-year-old took to Twitter after the news was announced to congratulate and thank all involved, saying the “next generation of talent coming from the islands don’t have to look overseas first to play professional rugby”. 

The tweet from Nadolo following the Super Rugby announcement finished by saying thank you in Fijian, Tongan and Samoan. “This is a great day for rugby as a whole!! Knowing the next generation of talent coming from the islands don’t have to look overseas ‘1st’ to play professional rugby. Congratulations and thank you to all involved. #Vinaka #malopAupito #faafetai.”

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Wales out-half and Lions selection hopeful Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access
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Wales out-half and Lions selection hopeful Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access

Across Nadolo’s varied career, he has played professional club rugby in Australia, France, England, New Zealand and Japan but not Fiji, the country of his birth. But that will now be different for young players coming through, which could cause significant changes to the landscape of international rugby in the future. 

Established in 2017, the Fijian Drua have already built a formidable reputation on the field after winning the Australian National Rugby Championship in 2018 in only their second year in the competition.

Moana Pasifika took the field for the first time on December 5 last year when they played the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton. NZR CEO Mark Robinson said: “We are moving into the final phase of planning for 2022 and beyond and we have confidence that Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua will be able to meet the conditions of the licence, which includes final sign off on a sustainable business plan by 30 June.

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“In the next two months, we will be working with Rugby Australia and the two Pasifika teams to formalise their place in the new competition for what we believe will kick off an exciting, new era for the professional game.”

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'Great day': Nemani Nadolo leads charge in hailing arrival of new Pasifika Super Rugby teams

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