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Fiji Time: 10:19 AM on Saturday 26 July

/ Front page / Sport

Ready for Fiji

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

THERE is one thing certain about Nemani Nadolo when he runs against the Italians this Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

The 26-year-old is not the same player who featured for the Vodafone Flying Fijians side against Romania in November last year.

He has become better. And the Crusaders winger hopes his improved performance will inspire the national side to victory this weekend.

Nadolo made his debut in the national colours against Australia in June, 2010 and has earned 11 Test caps scoring seven tries so far.

Lately, he has proven to be one of the most lethal wingers after catapulting Crusaders to third place in the Super Rugby competition.

For the New Zealand club, Nadolo, who is dubbed the next Jonah Lomu by the rugby pundits, has been a saviour scoring seven tries and setting up a couple in 10 matches so far.

Nadolo hopes his success with Crusaders will rub off on the national team.

"My confidence level has been through the roof. I'm in my best head space than I have ever been," Nadolo said.

"Playing against Italy, I will not only contribute to the boys but my country Fiji and I can't wait to represent Fiji."

Standing six feet five inch tall and weighing about 125 kilogram, Nadolo will be the trump card for national coach John McKee in the backline.

The Namatakula native is likely to feature on the wings and can also play in the midfield.

Nadolo said his fairytale run in the Super Rugby competition would take him the distance against the Azzurri.

"I'm glad to be in a position where I can help the boys. I'm new to the franchise. All I can do is offer my advantages and I'm just so pleased and thankful of the place that I am at now," said the cousin of former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri and Tevita Kuridrani.

"I don't have to contribute much (against Italy). We have a pretty tough and very gifted squad this year.

"I don't have to offer too much, I just have to offer my presence because we have everything in the team.

"We just need to execute when we play Italy and that is the important thing."

Italy holds a slight advantage against Fiji winning five of the nine times they played each other.

The national side came close to beating the Italians last year but went down fighting 31-37 in the match where we created history of collecting the most number of yellow cards.

Nadolo is ready to turn that nightmare into a dream start for the Fijians in the June Test.

Fiji will play Italy at 3pm.


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