Rugby

Fijian beast Nadolo in shock retirement

2019-02-01 07:00
Nemani Nadolo (Getty Images)

Wellington - Fijian wings Nemani Nadolo and Timoci Nagusa both announced their international retirements on Friday in a double blow for the Pacific Islanders ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup.

The pair, who both play club rugby for Montpellier in France's Top 14, announced their decisions separately on social media.

"I felt it was the right decision for me and my family moving forward," said Nadolo, 31, who scored 19 tries for the Flying Fijians in 30 Test appearances.

Nagusa, also 31, said "I've had the greatest moments" representing Fiji on the international stage.

Fiji coach John McKee said he was disappointed with the retirements, but respected the players' decisions.

"I thank these players for their contribution to the Flying Fijians over the years both on and off the field through their exceptional play and team leadership," he said in a statement.

"In many ways retirements such as these show us the pressure our Flying Fijians can be under juggling their professional rugby career, possible injuries, living in Europe, family life and making themselves available to represent their country."

While Nadolo and Nagusa will be missed, McKee said there was no guarantee they would have made the squad for the World Cup in Japan starting in September.

Neither were in the squad that notched an upset maiden win over France last November and McKee said there was currently a lot of depth in Fijian rugby.

"(There's) a lot of competition across the team to make the final selection for RWC 2019," he said.

"2019 is a very important year for the Flying Fijians and there will be a lot of hard work and commitment required to ensure that the final selected squad is fully prepared to put in our best performance at RWC 2019."

View this post on Instagram

I thought I'd be the first to let you all know that i'v called it a day playing for my beloved country Fiji. First and foremost I want to thank the almighty for without him i believe I would never have gotten this far. The moment I debuted as a "caretaker" of the jersey back in 2010 I would have never thought I'd have played for this long and represented the tiny island of Fiji. I want to thank all the coaches, trainers, physios and people I have come in contact with during my time as a "caretaker" of the jersey. To all the past and present players whom i'v had the honour of playing along side with I want to say big VINAKA.. Most of all to the PEOPLE of Fiji both in Fiji and abroad. I just want to let you all know that it's been a pleasure to have represented you all over the years.. I believe this team belongs to the people of fiji and its because of you we find the motivation to play everytime we get the opportunity and for that I hope I haven't let you guys down. With the depth and current crop of outside backs coming through I have no doubt that the next "caretakers" of the jersey will do a great job.. Iv faced a few challenges over the last 18 month's both on and off the field. After speaking to my partner @kimstyleme for a long period of time about this I felt it was the right decision for me and my family moving forward. I still have a lot to prove and I look forward to doing that with my club @mhr_officiel.. I wish the coaches and the current squad all the best for the future and have no doubt they will do well!.. #vinaka #veilomani ?

A post shared by Nemani Nadolo (@nemani_nadolo) on

Read more on:    fiji  |  nemani nadolo  |  rugby

 

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