By SITERI SAUVAKACOLO
Fijian players had been named in next year’s Super Rugby competition by the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Surprise inclusion is Australian-born Fijian winger, Nemani Nadolo into the Crusaders franchise.
He immediately became the talk of coach Todd Blackadder who suggested the 25-year-old winger could be one of the most exciting players next year.
Nadolo, who debut for Fiji in 2010 against Japan at Churchill Park, Lautoka, was the mystery player unveiled yesterday by the Crusaders.
Nadolo plays for the NEC Green Rockets in Japanese club scene.
“At 1.95 meter and nearly 130 kilogramme, he is an absolute hulk of a man. He can fly down the field like you wouldn’t believe for a man that size. Comparisons have been drawn with Jonah Lomu, and we can’t wait to work with him and unleash him in this competition,” Blackadder said, in naming his squad.
Nadolo played Super Rugby with the Waratahs in 2009 and is a Fijian test player. The 25-year-old has also had brief tastes of the French and English scenes. He is from Namatakula, Nadroga and is the son of former Fiji intyernational Isei Nasiganiyavi and is a cousin of Australian dual-code representative Lote Tuqiri.
Other Fijians in the competition are Patrisk Osborne for the Highlanders and Asaeli Tikoirotuma for the Chiefs.
Not included is Chiefs’ and Fijian winger Maretino Nemani (Junior).
Forwards: Tom McCartney (Auckland), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), James Parsons (North Harbour), Charlie Faumuina (Auckland), Sam Prattley (Auckland), Angus Ta’avao (Auckland), Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour), Tom Donnelly (Otago), Liaki Moli (Auckland), Culum Retallick (Bay of Plenty), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland), Kane Barrett (Taranaki), Luke Braid (Auckland), Jerome Kaino (Auckland), Steven Luatua (Auckland), Brendon O’Connor (Canterbury), Peter Saili (Auckland).
Backs: Jamison Gibson-Park (Taranaki), Bryn Hall (North Harbour), Piri Weepu (Auckland), Baden Kerr (Counties Manukau), Chris Noakes (Bay of Plenty), Pita Ahki (North Harbour), Ma’a Nonu (Wellington), Francis Saili (North Harbour), Jackson Willison (Waikato), Frank Halai (Counties Manukau), Benji Marshall (Auckland), George Moala (Auckland), Charles Piutau (Auckland), Lolagi Visinia (Auckland).
Wider training group: Joe Edwards (Auckland), Simon Hickey (Auckland), Tevita Li (North Harbour), Tom Murday (Northland), Albert Nikoro (Auckland).
Backs: Robbie Robinson (Southland), Tom Marshall (Tasman), James Lowe (Tasman), Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Manawatu), Mils Muliaina (TBC), Tim Nanai-Williams (Counties Manukau), Robbie Fruean (Canterbury), Charlie Ngatai (Wellington), Bundee Aki (Counties Manukau), Andrew Horrell (Hawke’s Bay), Aaron Cruden (Manawatu), Gareth Anscombe (Auckland), Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato), August Pulu (Counties Mankau).
Forwards: Kane Thompson (TBC), Liam Squire (Tasman), Liam Messam (Waikato), Nick Crosswell (Manawatu), Tanerau Latimer (Bay of Plenty), Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty), Brodie Retallick (Bay of Plenty), Ross Filipo (Wellington), Mike Fitzgerald (Manawatu), Matt Symons (Canterbury), Ben Afeaki (North Harbour), Ben Tameifuna (Waikato), Jamie Mackintosh (Southlanf), Pauliasi Manu (Auckland), Josh Hohneck (Bay of Plenty), Hika Elliot (Counties Manukau), Mahonri Schwalger (Counties Manukau), Rhys Marshall (Taranaki).
Wider training squad: Carl Axtens (Bay of Plenty), Nick Barrett (Southland), Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato), Tevita Kolomatangi (Tasman), Brad Weber (Waikato).
Forwards: Mark Abbott (Hawke’s Bay), James Broadhurst (Taranaki), Dane Coles (Wellington), Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay), Ben Franks (Hawke’s Bay), Reggie Goodes (Wellington), Jack Lam (Waikato), Faifili Levave (Wellington), Motu Matu’u (Wellington), Mark Reddish (Wellington), Ardie Savea (Wellington), John Schwalger (Wellington), Brad Shields (Wellington), Eric Sione (Wellington), Blade Thomson (Taranaki), Jeremy Thrush (Wellington), Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Wellington), Victor Vito (Wellington).
Backs: Beauden Barrett (Taranaki), Marty Banks (Tasman), Tim Bateman (Wellington), Cory Jane (Wellington), Alapati Leiua (Wellington), James Marshall (Taranaki), Hadleigh Parkes (Auckland), TJ Perenara (Wellington), Matt Proctor (Wellington), Julian Savea (Wellington), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Chris Smylie (Taranaki), Andre Taylor (Taranaki), Cardiff Vaega (Southland). Wider training squad: Chris Eves (Manawatu), Callum Gibbins (Manawatu), Adam Hill (Wellington), Billy Guyton (Tasman), Nehe Milner-Skudder (Manawatu)
Wider training squad: Chris Eves (Manawatu), Callum Gibbins (Manawatu), Adam Hill (Wellington), Billy Guyton (Tasman), Nehe Milner-Skudder (Manawatu).
Dominic Bird (Canterbury), Tyler Bleyendaal (Canterbury), Daniel Carter (Canterbury), Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury), Ryan Crotty (Canterbury), Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay), Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury), Andy Ellis (Canterbury), Corey Flynn (Canterbury), Owen Franks (Canterbury), Ben Funnell (Canterbury) Zac Guildford (Hawke’s Bay), Willi Heinz (Canterbury), Nepo Laulala (Canterbury), Rey Lee-Lo (Counties Manukau), Richie McCaw (Canterbury), Johnny McNicholl (Canterbury), Joe Moody (Canterbury), Nemani Nadolo (Tasman), Tim Perry (Tasman), Kieran Read (Canterbury), Luke Romano (Canterbury), Colin Slade (Canterbury), Jordan Taufua (Canterbury), Codie Taylor (Canterbury), Tom Taylor (Canterbury), Matt Todd (Canterbury), Jimmy Tupou (Counties Manukau), Adam Whitelock (Canterbury), George Whitelock (Canterbury), Luke Whitelock (Canterbury), Sam Whitelock (Canterbury).
Wider triaining group: Jed Brown (Canterbury), Kieron Fonotia (Tasman), Mike Kainga (Bay of Plenty), Rob Thompson (Canterbury), Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour).
Forwards: Josh Bekhuis (Southland), Shane Christie (Tasman), Liam Coltman (Otago), Matias Diaz (Argentina), Elliot Dixon (Otago), Gareth Evans (Otago), Ma’afu Fia (Manawatu), Tom Franklin (Otago), Kane Hames (Bay of Plenty), John Hardie (Southland), Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki), TJ Ioane (Otago), Chris King (Otago), Nasi Manu (Canterbury), Brayden Mitchell (Waikato), Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler (Tasman).
Backs: Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Phil Burleigh (North Harbour), Jason Emery (Manawatu), Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland), Patrick Osborne (Canterbury), Hayden Parker (Otago), Buxton Popoalii (Otago) Willie Ripia (Bay of Plenty), Aaron Smith (Wellington), Ben Smith (Otago), Lima Sopoaga (Wellington), Winston Stanley (Western Force), Fumiaki Tanaka (Otago), Shaun Treeby (Wellington), Frae Wilson (Wellington).
Wider Training Group: Lee Allan (Otago), Richard Buckman (Hawke’s Bay), Craig Millar (Otago) Trent Renata (Waikato), Ged Robinson (Hawke’s Bay).