Nadolo handed kicking duties

Nadolo is ready to kick more points for the Flying Fijians tomorrow. Photo: Fiji Village

Nadolo is ready to kick more points for the Flying Fijians tomorrow. Photo: Fiji Village

Blockbusting Flying Fijian inside centre Nemani Nadolo has been given the nod to kick penalties and conversions against Tonga in their opening encounter of the Pacific Nations Cup at Churchill Park tomorrow.

Reigning champions Fiji coach John McKee said Nadolo would be kicking from the beginning of the match and has gained a lot of confidence in his ability after a 100 percent effort against Italy last week, successfully slotting in two conversions and two penalties.

“He’s kicking well at practice and he’s gained a lot of confidence from his game last week,” McKee said.

Tongan skipper Nili Latu admitted that Nadolo was a special player and was aware of his kicking ability while playing with him in Japan and would not want the Tongan team to be penalized in Fiji’s half.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Manu Samoa, Pacific Nations Cup, Personalities, Test, Tonga

Baleinaloto suspended for 7 weeks

Fijian lock Penioni Toga is escorted off the field after sustaining an injury against Ireland on Tuesday. Photo: Planet Rugby

Fijian lock Penioni Toga is escorted off the field after sustaining an injury against Ireland on Tuesday. Photo: Planet Rugby

Fiji Under 20 flyhalf Maika Baleinaloto was suspended by the IRB Junior Rugby World Cup judicial officer for seven weeks of playing rugby after ruling Baleinaloto had committed an act of foul play during Fiji’s match against France last Friday.

Judicial Officer Chris Morris said Baleinaloto was “suspended from taking part in any game of rugby” until 20th July. The tournament is being held in New Zealand.

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Filed under Discipline, Fiji Rugby Union, Junior Rugby World Cup, Personalities, Red Card

IRB wants star power at Olympics

Gosper would like to see Israel Folau in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Photo: Getty Images

Gosper would like to see Israel Folau in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Photo: Getty Images

Household names must feature in Olympic Sevens in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 if rugby is to maximise its opportunity on the world stage, International Rugby Board chief Brett Gosper says.

The board under Gosper is encouraging international unions to work through red-tape issues and ensure stars who want to play are allowed to do so.

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Filed under IRB, Israel Folau, Olympics, Pacific Islanders, Personalities, Rio de Janeiro, Sevens

Nadolo rated best centre

Flying Fijian inside centre Nemani Nadolo scores the hosts opening try against Italy at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Photo: RugbyLive

Flying Fijian inside centre Nemani Nadolo scores the hosts opening try against Italy at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Photo: RugbyLive

Flying Fijian Nemani Nadolo was rated the best inside centre from all the Test matches that were played last weekend.

According to Planet Rugby, Nadolo after taking the Super Rugby by storm was “of similar style and stature to Jonah Lomu.” Nadolo opened the account for Fiji scoring in the first half.

Planet Rugby analysts were also surprised with Nadolo’s boot after he took over the kicking duties, kicking two penalties and two conversions.

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Filed under Awards, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, International, Personalities, PNC, Super Rugby, Test

Matadigo, Qovu move to new clubs

Masi Matadigo in Racing colours. Photo: madeinrugby

Masi Matadigo (R) in Racing colours. Photo: madeinrugby

Flying Fijians Masi Matadigo and Jone Qovu who both play for Racing Metro are moving to new French clubs who have been promoted recently to the top flight Top 14 competition.

Matadigo has been drafted into the Lyon Olympique Universitaire (LOU) team which clinchéd the tier two Pro D2 competition propelling their place into the Top 14.

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Filed under Contract, Europe Fiji players, European Club, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, French Club, Pacific Islanders, Personalities, Top 14

Toulon makes play for Folau

Israel Folau underlined his value with another standout display against France. Photo: Getty Images

Israel Folau underlined his value with another standout display against France. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies star Israel Folau has been linked with a move to French club Toulon.

The New South Wales Waratahs fullback, who is signed to Australian rugby until the end of 2015, has reportedly started negotiations with the Top 14 and Heineken Cup champions to join them after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

French rugby newspaper Midi Olimpique has published a report that Folau had opened talks with Toulon. Folau’s manager Isaac Moses could not be reached for comment. As reported in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Folau was interviewed by French reporters just last week on the prospect of playing in the Top 14 and expressed interest.

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Filed under Contract, Israel Folau, Pacific Islanders, Personalities, Signings

Technology could be game-changer

Can data from GPS help influence the American football season? Photo: ESPN

Can data from GPS help influence the American football season? Photo: ESPN

International scouting recently drew an NFL general manager to Melbourne, Australia, for a few days of rugby. During a lull in the action one evening, his eyes drifted to the sideline. The head coach was walking to the end of the bench, where a team employee sat holding a laptop computer. The two conferred for a moment before the coach returned to his post and ordered a series of player substitutions.

The next morning, the telephone rang in the Arizona offices of Catapult Sports, one of several Australian-based companies that compile live data on athletic exertion. The general manager was brimming with questions for Gary McCoy, the company’s senior sports scientist.

“He wanted to know,” McCoy said, “what the hell had just happened.”

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Filed under Injury, International, NFL, Technology