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Second Coming Of Nakarawa

Many any have written him off for the June Test matches and the Rugby World Cup in September.

Castres lock Leone Nakarawa still going strong in the win over USA Perpignan in the French Top 14 clash on May 27, 2023. Photo: L’Equipe.

Many any have written him off for the June Test matches and the Rugby World Cup in September.

At the age of 35 and playing in the French Top 14, veteran lock for­ward Leone Nakarawa is back to his best.

According to reports by French newspaper L’Equipe and Rugby Drama, the former Flying Fijian captain was offered by Castres Olympique (CO) to extend his con­tract for another year.

On Saturday, Nakarawa played his 18th match of the season. They beat USA Perpignan 26-16.

Standing at 2 metres tall and weighing at 127 kilogrammes, Na­karawa arrived in Tarn at the start of the season after short stints with Racing 92 and Toulon.

The 65 Flying Fijian Test veteran who was voted the Best European Player in 2018, was looking at re­launching his rugby career, which was slowed down by injuries.

According to Rugby Drama, he signed up with CO for a season and the Fijian international has grown in power as the season progressed.

“It’s a very measured bet given the modest conditions in which he comes,” CO president Pierre-Yves Revol told Rugby Drama.

Nakarawa’s performances has convinced CO leaders, who offered him an additional year.

This season, the versatile Fijian has played 18 games, in which 10 he was in the starting line-up.

He has played either at No.4 or No.5 and even he has played No.8 or flanker at times. Nakarawa’s best performance was against Montpel­lier, last month.

He played for 73 minutes and CO head coach and former British and Irish Lions lock Jeremy David­son hailed his performance “He was just exceptional, he played like a 22-year-old player. He is always dangerous and determined,” Da­vidson said.

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Story By:  Leone Cabenatabua

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