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Nemani Nadolo

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Nemani Nadolo
Nadolo with Montpellier
Full nameRatu Nemani Driu Nasiganiyavi
Date of birth (1988-01-31) 31 January 1988 (age 36)
Place of birthSigatoka, Fiji
Height195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight137 kg (21 st 8 lb; 302 lb)[1][2]
SchoolSt Joseph's College, Nudgee
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre / Wing
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2007 Perth Spirit ()
2008 Manly ()
2008–2009 Randwick ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010 Bourgoin 16 (25)
2011 Exeter Chiefs 5 (0)
2011–2015 NEC Green Rockets 51 (286)
2016–2020 Montpellier 69 (265)
2020–2022 Leicester Tigers 43 (95)
Correct as of 27 November 2022
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014–2016 Crusaders 39 (143)
2023 Waratahs 4 (5)
Correct as of 1 April 2023
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008 Australia U20 5 (35)
2010- Fiji 30 (206)
Correct as of 5 December 2021

Nemani Nadolo (formerly Ratu Nasiganiyavi; born 31 January 1988) is a Fijian-Australian rugby union player. He currently plays for New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby, usually as a wing or centre, and the Fiji national team.[3]

Nadolo was the overall top try scorer of the 2014 Super Rugby season competition while playing for the Crusaders, scoring a try in both the semi-final and final. He is known for his speed and size, and occasionally standing in as a goal-kicker for conversions and penalties. He won 30 caps for Fiji between 2010 and 2019. He previously played for Leicester Tigers in England's Premiership Rugby, Montpellier in France's Top 14 and NEC Green Rockets in Japan's Top League.

Family and early life[edit]

Ratu Nemani Driu Nasiganiyavi was born in Sigatoka, Fiji. At three months of age he moved with his family to Brisbane, Australia. His father, Isei Nasiganiyavi, played rugby for Queensland in the 1980s.[4][5]

He changed his name to Nemani Nadolo later as an adult, adopting his mother's maiden name in 2009 instead of the surname of his father who had left the family home when he was young.[6]

Nadolo attended Nudgee College, and was selected for the Queensland Schoolboys rugby team in 2005.[7][8] He is the older brother of Chris Kuridrani and Inosi Nadolo, and a cousin of Tevita Kuridrani[9] and Lote Tuqiri.[4]

Rugby career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After featuring for Perth Spirit in the 2007 Australian Rugby Championship (as Ratu Siganiyavi),[5] he headed east to play for Randwick in 2008. He hit the ground running for Randwick, scoring 13 tries in his first 7 matches. His club rugby season was punctuated by selection for the Australian Under 20 team for the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship, where he crossed 7 times in 5 matches to be the tournament's leading tryscorer.[7]

Nadolo was one of the finds of the 2008 season, with his hard-running and try-scoring prowess earning the powerhouse wing a Super 14 contract with the Waratahs.

Nadolo's size, style of play and Pacific Islander background drew him comparisons to Jonah Lomu when he signed for the Waratahs in 2008. He is documented to have a sprint time under 11 seconds over 100 metres.[10][4][11] He played his first match for the Junior Waratahs on the 2008 Development Tour of Fiji less than 200 metres from his mother's village in Nadi. After changing his name to Nemani Nadolo in November 2009,[6] he signed to play for Manly in the Shute Shield for 2010.


Nadolo signed with French Top 14 team Bourgoin-Jallieu for the 2010–11 season, but transferred to England's Exeter Chiefs in January 2011. Nadolo's brief time at Exeter was fairly troublesome. He was registered at Exeter under his Australian passport and was mistakenly picked alongside two other non-Kolpak players. This is a breach of RFU regulations and resulted in Exeter being docked two points and fined £5,000.[12] Also while at Exeter he was arrested by police for drink driving. He was subsequently banned from driving for 18 months and fined £950. Nadolo was immediately released from his contract with the club.[13]


Nadolo played for the NEC Green Rockets in the Japan Top League between 2011 and 2013.

Super Rugby[edit]

In October 2013, Nadolo signed to play for Crusaders in the 2014 Super Rugby season.[14] In March 2014, he made his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Melbourne Rebels.[15] He went on to play 14 Super Rugby games, including 12 starts, in his first season and was the equal top try scorer with Israel Folau, notching 12 tries. He scored a try in both the semi-final and final but it wasn't enough to win the Super Rugby title as his Crusaders team lost to his former team, the Waratahs, by 33–32.

In August 2014, Nadolo re-signed with the Crusaders for two more seasons.[16]

On May 4 2022 the Waratahs announced the signing of Nadolo from Leicester Tigers for the 2023 season. Nadolo returns to the Waratahs 12 years after he was deemed surplus to requirements by the franchise in 2010.[17]

Top 14[edit]

In November 2015, Nadolo signed a three-year deal with French Top 14 side, Montpellier. He left at the end of the 2020 Super Rugby season.[18]

Premiership Rugby[edit]

In March 2020 it was announced that Nadolo would be joining Premiership side Leicester Tigers for the 2020-21 season.[19] Nadolo made his debut on 26 August 2020 at Welford Road in a match against London Irish, with Nadolo impressing in a 13-7 win.[20][21]

On 30 October 2021, Nadolo scored two tries in the East Midlands Derby against Northampton Saints.[22]

Nadolo will leave Tigers before the conclusion of the 2022–23 season and return to Australia to rejoin the NSW Waratahs ahead of their 2023 season.[23]

International career[edit]

Nadolo made his Test debut in 2010 when selected in the 24-member Fiji team for a one-off match against Australia, followed by the 2010 IRB Pacific Nations Cup.

In June 2014, Nadolo joined Fiji for the one-off test against Italy. He was instrumental in that game playing at his preferred position of Inside centre scoring 13 points including a try. A week later in the 2014 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, he faced Tonga scoring 20 points including a try and kicking 6 conversion and a long-range penalty. A week later, against Samoa, he scored a try but it was not enough for a win as Fiji lost in a nail-biting encounter, 13–18. In his final game for Fiji in June in the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Oceania qualification match against Cook Islands. He scored a hat-trick of tries and in the process equalled the all-time record set by Christian Cullen and John Kirwan of scoring 10 tries in consecutive matches.

Nadolo returned for Fiji in 2015 and played on the wing against the Māori All Blacks in Suva but while scoring a try, he damaged his pectoral muscles which ruled him out for 6 weeks and the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. He was nevertheless included in the final 31-member squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He returned to play for Fiji in a warm-up game against Canada on the left wing and though he didn't score a try, he kicked 5 conversions and 4 penalties with his boot ending the game with a 100% kicking percentage. He scored a try against England in the first match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup on 18 September 2015.[24][25]

Along with teammate Timoci Nagusa, he retired from International rugby just months before the 2019 Rugby World Cup and remained with Montpellier as their season continued during the World Cup.


  1. ^ (in French) Nadolo | MHR. Montpellier-rugby.com (31 January 1988). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.
  2. ^ "Ratu Nemani Drui Siganiyavi Nasiganiyavi Nadolo".
  3. ^ Knowler, Richard (8 November 2013). "Nemani Nadolo brings fear factor to Crusaders". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Tuqiri's cousin the new Jonah". Sydney Morning Herald. 24 May 2008. Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Perth Spirit squad for ARC named". sportsaustralia.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b Proszenko, Adrian (15 November 2009). "Nadolo no longer a tongue-twisting hulk – now he's just huge". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Ratu Nasiganiyavi Player Profile (Australia U20)". rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Queensland Rugby Football Schools Union – Queensland I 2005". QRFSU. 9 July 2005. Archived from the original on 8 July 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Sanday raises a profile". Fiji Times. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  10. ^ Meet rugby's man mountain plotting England's downfall. Telegraph (12 September 2015). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.
  11. ^ "Waratahs sign Ratu Nasiganiyavi". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 June 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Exeter Chiefs deducted two points and fined £5,000". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo released by Exeter Chiefs". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  14. ^ Knowler, Richard (30 October 2013). "Crusaders add power with signing of Fijian Nadolo". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Sport: Nadolo in line to make Super Rugby debut – Radio New Zealand News". 14 March 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Nadolo signs on for two more years". SANZAR Rugby. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Former Crusaders cult hero Nemani Nadolo returning to Waratahs 12 years after the club cut him". 4 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Nadolo confirms move to Montpellier after 2016 season | Crusaders". crusaders.co.nz. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Leicester Tigers confirm signing of former Fiji superstar Nemani Nadolo". Telegraph. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Nemani Nadolo makes impact on debut as Leicester Tigers hold on for tight victory over London Irish". The Daily Telegraph. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Nadolo impresses on debut as Leicester Tigers bag win over Irish". Rugby Pass. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Leicester Tigers player ratings from Northampton Saints victory: 'Perfect message'". Leicester Mercury. 30 October 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  23. ^ "Club announcement: Nemani Nadolo". Leicester Tigers. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  24. ^ "Two Mike Brown tries help nervy England beat Fiji in World Cup opener". Guardian. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  25. ^ Video: Volavola sets up Nadolo with perfect kick | Rugby | Sporting News. Sportal.com.au (18 September 2015). Retrieved on 2017-01-13.

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