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Leicester Tigers lose another Wallaby in the battle for Premiership survival

By Online Editors
Tatafu Polota-Nau of Leicester. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The Leicester Tigers are set to lose another Wallaby with hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau set to join Matt Toomua as the latest Tiger to make a return to Super Rugby on a short-term loan deal with the Waratahs .

The Waratahs called on their former rake after a depth crisis up front, with Tolu Latu serving a six-week suspension and Sham Vui currently sidelined.

After playing limited minutes with UK club Leicester, Polota-Nau has already arrived back in Sydney and could take part in Saturday’s match against the Reds.

“We’re finalising the paperwork and we’re hopeful that he would be available for that game,” coach Daryl Gibson told Rugby.com.au.

“That’s the idea in terms of he’s just got a flight, he’s going to go through all his routines to get himself ready. I don’t foresee him starting the game against the Reds.”

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The former Waratah left the club after failing to receive a contract for 2017 and made the move to the Western Force before fate intervened with the culling of the franchise after his first season there.

The 33-year-old then took up a two-and-a-half year deal with the Leicester Tigers, making a move to the Gallagher Premiership.

“He’s very excited. He’s played 142 caps for the Waratahs, he has the opportunity to add to that but also it’s an opportunity for him to get in front of the Australian selectors,” he said.

“Part of his goal is to make the Rugby World Cup squad and the best way he can do that is by playing rugby and playing rugby in the Super Rugby competition.”

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Leicester has been starting Tom Youngs recently meaning Polota-Nau has been playing limited minutes at Welford Road. He could yet return to the 9th-placed Tigers before the end of the season, depending on the length of the agreed loan between the two clubs. Leicester remains two wins and 13 competition points ahead of Newcastle in the relegation battle.

The Waratahs will be hoping that Polota-Nau will be available for the entire six weeks of Tolu Latu’s suspension once the deal is finalised.

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