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Naqelevuki to play as a loose forward

Planet Rugby
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter has revealed that he will experiment with Sireli Naqelevuki in his back-row during their pre-season friendlies.

The 33-year-old Fijian, who missed a great deal of last season because of a knee injury, is set to begin his fifth campaign at the Sandy Park side.

But that could be on the flank according to Baxter.

"Sireli is training a fair bit with the forwards with a view that we're going to have a look at him as a back-rower," he told Exeter Chiefs' website.

"We'll see how that goes in a few pre-season run-outs.

"We are looking at him as a ball-carrying back-row option.

"It'll be relatively easy for Sireli to drop back to playing in the backs if that's what we decide to do.

But he's spending a bit of time with the forwards and that gives us the opportunity to have a look at him in a couple of the academy run-outs we have on Tuesday nights to give him the opportunity to settle in and see how it goes for him.

"Whether we get to look at him in one of the main pre-season games will depend on how those outings go.

"It is a bit of an experiment but the thing with Sireli is that he's a very natural rugby player, so far he has dropped into most of it very well.

"If you think of Sireli's strengths, if we can get him on the ball a little bit more in the back-row we may make the most of his best attributes."

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