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Waratahs re-sign Naiyaravoro for two Super Rugby seasons

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The Waratahs have been given a boost as Fijian-born winger Taqele Naiyaravoro has re-signed for the 2017 and 2018 Super Rugby seasons.

Naiyaravoro has also been named in a 39 man Wallabies squad that is preparing to face England next month.

The giant-size back will be available to play for the Waratahs in the final three regular season Super Rugby matches this season, having already earned 20 caps for NSW across 2014 and 2015 and one cap for the Wallabies. He has since been playing with the Glasgow Warriors.

NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Daryl Gibson said Naiyaravoro’s decision to re-join the NSW Waratahs and Australian rugby was a huge coup.

“I’m delighted to have him back and competing for a wing spot. He’s a different type of winger and uses his size and speed to good effect,” Gibson said.

“He will add to our strike power out wide, increasing the competition for our back three.

“I’m sure he has grown as a player too, having experienced northern hemisphere rugby.”

At 195cm tall and around 125kg, Naiyaravoro is amongst the tallest in the Waratahs behind Will Skelton.

A powerful try-scorer, he made five appearances off the bench for the NSW Waratahs during their Super Rugby Championship year in 2014, scoring his debut Super Rugby try in just his third game against the Highlanders in round 18 that year.

His run-on debut came the following season, when he started on the right wing on 11 occasions and crossed for eight tries. At the conclusion of the 2015 regular season, which was just his second in Super Rugby, Naiyaravoro finished amongst the top five try-scorers.

On a per game average he was second to Israel Folau in line breaks (1.7 per game) and tackles broken (3.3 per game) for the Waratahs in 2015.

Naiyaravoro was born in the remote Yasawa archipelago in Fiji. He was schooled at Cuvu College and Suva Grammar School in Fiji where he was part of the rugby union and track teams.

Playing on the wing and at flanker in those days, Naiyaravoro was selected to represent his country in the Fijian Under 16s. He was spotted by a scout at the secondary schools rugby championship in Fiji, which saw him move to New Zealand where he joined the Tamaki Sports Academy and Otahuhu Rugby Club.

The stocky winger has also dabbled in rugby league, representing the national Fijian Bati team in the code in 2011. He was selected in the side again in 2013, with the chance to star at the Rugby League World Cup, but was unable to take part due to an ankle injury.

In 2012, at just 21 years of age he was recruited by the Wests Tigers rugby league team in Australia. Despite never making it on to the park in the top tier he scored 23 tries in just 15 games for the Balmain Tigers in the NSW Cup.

He was released by the Tigers in early 2014 to pursue his career in rugby union. Joining the Parramatta Two Blues, Naiyaravoro made his Shute Shield debut at wing and inside centre, crossing for two tries and breaking through defensive lines on several occasions.

He was soon picked up by the Waratahs, signing his first professional rugby contract with the Club for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Taqele Naiyaravoro
Date of birth: 12/07/1991
Position: Wing/ Centre
Height: 195cm
Weight: 125kg
Club: Parramatta
Wallaby caps: 1
Super Rugby caps: 20
NSW Rugby caps: 20
Super Rugby tries: 9

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