Test rugby fans looking forward to Semi Radradra adding his Bristol frills to Fiji when they compete in next month’s Autumn Nations Cup have had their hopes dashed. Radradra limped out of the closing stages of Bristol’s Challenge Cup final win over Toulon in Aix-en-Provence last Friday and the club have now given an injury update. 

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“Semi Radradra sustained a hamstring injury in the European title victory and the centre will be ruled out until the end of November,” read the Bristol statement. 

That prognosis will come as a real disappointment to Fijian Test fans as the midfielder had lit up the Gallagher Premiership and was also a class apart in the knockout stages of the European campaign following his summer move from Bordeaux. 

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Capped ten times by his country, most recently in their 2019 World Cup match versus Wales at Oita, 28-year-old Radradra was expected to have heavily featured in the Nations Cup tournament where Fiji are scheduled to face France, Italy and Scotland on successive weekends with a fourth game to follow in early December. 

Radradra’s impact at Bristol was again evident last weekend’s final, the midfielder having two involvements in the creation of the try scored after just 15 seconds by Harry Randall, the quickest ever in European Cup history.

Radradra gathered the Toulon kick in the 22 and the Fijian centre attracted the attention of three players as he looked inside and ran towards the left touchline, pulling Bryce Heem in off his wing. A brilliant pass out of contact to wing Alapati Leiua allowed the Samoan to race up the touchline to halfway before transferring back inside to the supporting Radradra.

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He then gave scrum-half Randall the assist to allow him to scamper 40 metres to the line to open the scoring. Radradra hasn’t been the only player in the wars at Bristol recently, either. Former All Black Charles Piutau continues to rehabilitate from a long-standing achilles injury, with a projected to return to action in January 2021.

England back row Nathan Hughes had a minor surgical procedure this week to solve a long-standing knee issue, while Andy Uren, who also missed the Challenge Cup final, isn’t expected back until the end of November due to a training ground foot injury.

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