As Leicester Tigers continue to witness their former players signing for new clubs, there has been a welcome addition to Oval Park this week. The Tigers’ flagship summer signing Nemani Nadolo has begun training with his new team as they prepare for the Gallagher Premiership’s return next month.
It is hard to put a positive spin on the mass exodus that happened at Welford Road at the beginning of the month, which saw Manu Tuilagi, Telusa Veainu, Kyle Eastmond, Noel Reid and Greg Bateman depart, but the arrival of the Fijian is encouraging news.
Leicester shared a photo on social media of the 32-year-old training; the same day it was announced that Tuilagi had joined rivals Sale Sharks.
New head coach Steve Borthwick will know the job that lies ahead for him, particularly as the Tigers had already parted with Jonny May and Jonah Holmes before the recent crisis, leaving them thin on the ground in back three players.
Fortunately, the 29-cap Fijian is capable of playing on the wing or in the centres, and such versatility may be crucial in a team that could be sparse in some positions.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) July 13, 2020
Additionally, at 6ft 5ins and over 20st, Nadolo will provide the physicality in the back line that has now been reduced with Tuilagi’s exit.
A disappointing thing for many Leicester supporters, and indeed any neutral viewers, is the possibility of a Tuilagi-Nadolo midfield combination has now been extinguished.
Nadolo has been bulldozing opposition defences for four years now in Europe having arrived at Montpellier in 2016, and has been one of the most eagerly anticipated signings of the summer ever since it was announced in March.
He will be ready for when the league resumes in August, with Leicester sitting in 11th place, although in a season where they cannot be relegated.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now