Having announced his return to rugby last weekend by scoring two tries in his first match for Leicester in eleven weeks, Nemani Nadolo has attributed his powerful contribution from the Tigers bench to taking up powerlifting again after avoiding it for a few years.
The 33-year-old Fijian international was missing in recent months due to injury but he proved unstoppable against Northampton and now will look to make a similar impact when starting in Friday night’s European Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Ulster.
It was March when Nadolo, who came out of Test level retirement to play for Fiji last December, penned the deal to extend his Leicester contract through to the 2021/22 season and he hopes to repay that faith by ensuring his rejuvenated power game plays its full part.
“I have really worked hard on my power over the last eight months,” he said at a media briefing ahead of the European semi-final. “I probably lacked a bit of power in contact, just small things like that.
“I have worked really hard in the gym and went back to powerlifting which I hadn’t done in a while. I have found that has helped me heaps. Not only that but the mental side of things as well has given me the opportunity to appreciate the position that I am in.
“It’s something that we have been crying out for”
– The Fijian legend on the prospect of Super Rugby coming to the island https://t.co/ojKiBsBnTg
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 29, 2021
“With the current Covid situation, me being a foreigner and our family is on the other side of the world, there were times where we wanted to go home but when you are on your own you realise how lucky you are. I’m getting on with my career and just appreciating the small things.”
Asked for further details about his re-energised gym exploits, Nadolo added: “I did a lot of powerlifting early in my career and I sort of went off it a bit. You just go through phases… but that long out gave me the time to get back into it and it has been really good for me. I have found a huge difference and it’s something I will keep on doing.
“I’m lifting the same amount of what I was doing before. I’m not doing bench press or anything but I’m cleaning about 140, 150 at the moment and box squatting just short of 200. That is what I was doing back in my late 20s. I’m back to what I was, which is good. I don’t think I need to get it any bigger, lift any heavier.
“As long as I’m explosive that’s alright with me. For me, it is about how to stop these guys that are quicker than me. Rugby is simple, you get the ball and run it straight, that is all you have got to do and you hopefully don’t get tackled.”
The teenager's form since he returned to Tigers after his Test debut has been exemplary
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 28, 2021
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