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Cheika eyes Fijian player

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

AUSTRALIAN coach Michael Cheika is eyeing 21-year-old powerful and towering number eight Isi Naisarani as a possible inclusion in the 2017 Wallabies squad.

He said the recently signed Western Force player was someone to watch in the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Cheika also hinted at the inclusion of other Fijians into the Wallabies this season.

"There's some good young players in the scene," he said, speaking to the media last week while holidaying at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort & Spa.

"There's a good number eight who played for Brisbane City Isi Naisarani, he's going to be a strong player in Super Rugby this year and we've got some great young players we've been watching from a distance but we don't want to say too much.

"It will be nice to see some forwards coming through because all the Fijians that we have are backs."

"There's Fijians playing at every level of rugby in Australia and they are a very important part of Australia's rugby scene."

Naisarani has only been in Australia for one year but his innate ability as a powerful ball-carrier combined with speed and bone-crunching tackles caught the eye of Australian clubs, Souths and Brisbane City before the Western Force locked him on a two-year deal after an impressive debut season in the National Rugby Championship last year.

The 110kg former Ratu Kadavulevu School student joins Wallaby backrowers Matt Hodgson, Ben McCalman and Angus Cottrell in Western Force adding firepower to an already impressive lineup.

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