The Northampton Saints bound wing reveals that after losing 12kg of bodyweight, he is feeling both faster, fitter and in a better position to play the game.
“It was the toughest pre-season for the Waratahs I’ve ever done and that’s basically paying off for me now,” Naiyaravoro told reporters this week.
“I think I’m moving around a lot quicker and a lot better in the field, especially not being too fatigued to move around.”
At his heaviest, Naiyaravoro was pushing the scales at 136kg or 21 stone 6 pounds in old money.
“I find that really surprising as well because I never used to do that, but that’s a reflection of the hard work we’ve done.”
“I’m pretty comfortable now (at this weight 124kg) – still working hard. It’s a lot more different when you’re playing at 136 (kilos). There’s no excuse for that (weight). It was just my own discipline that I had to deal with.”
“I’ve changed a lot; it’s not really the food that I eat; it’s just being more smart.”
He says he’s better able to turn which makes it more difficult for kickers to exploit space behind him.
“I dropped a lot of weight. I think that has helped me to counter some of that,” Naiyaravoro told AFP.
Even at 136kg, Naiyaravoro would still have been a kilo behind Fijian Nemani Nadolo, who is making his bodyweight work for him at Montpellier in the Top 14.
The giant Waratah is set to join Northampton Saints for 2018/19 season, but it won’t be his first time playing in that neck of the woods.
After a stint in rugby league with the Balmain Tigers, Naiyaravoro began his senior union career with the Sydney-based Parramatta Two Blues in the Shute Shield, moving to the Waratahs in 2014.
From there a switch to Glasgow beckoned and a spectacular Champions Cup hat-trick against the Scarlets was the highlight of an impressive season in the Pro12, while he has also featured for Japanese side Panasonic Wild Knights in the Top League.
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