Naiyaravoro ready to rip in

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Taqele Naiyaravoro is back in NSW and wants to continue his rugby lessons.

The enormous winger returned to Waratahs training this week after a stint with the Glasgow Warriors, via the Wallabies, and knows he has to get cracking to get up to speed.

Naiyaravoro cut short his time with the Warriors in the Pro12 competition, taking up an exit option to return to NSW, with a sense of unfinished business.

“I think I left Super Rugby too early. I wanted to get more experience in this the world's number one rugby competition and i think i left too early,” he said.

“I just started union not long ago and it's still a learning process for me.

“I was just being a sponge for the season (in Scotland), just soaking everything up.”

Taqele Naiyaravoro showed promise in Glasgow. Photo: Getty ImagesCarrying some extra weight, Naiyaravoro’s first focus is improving his fitness to easily slot into the Waratahs’ system.

“I’ve got to cut down on my eating,” he laughed.

“I just get back into the style of rugby the Waratahs want, there’s a lot of fitness needed as well.

“Those things are a work in progress and that's what I’m really looking forward to for this season.” .

With three Waratahs matches left, Naiyaravoro won’t be eligible for any finals games should NSW make it, but he’s excited to get back to Super Rugby.

Three weeks in national camp have been a good start for the Fijian-born Test player but he said there’s still more to do.

Naiyaravoro came off the bench for his second Wallabies appearance in the third Test against England last weekend, scoring a try in the 83rd minute to add to his debut five-pointer against the USA in 2015.

“It's a dream come true, always has been, being in with the Wallabies,” he said.

“I’m just excited to be back around the boys and back in the country.”

Naiyaravoro only returned to Moore Park on Monday but Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson was confident he would line up for the Waratahs’ clash with the Sunwolves this weekend.

“To be fair, it’s the first time I’ve seen him,” he said.

“He’s looking a bit bigger than what he left our shores.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him in action this week against the Sunwolves.

“I think he's a different type of winger for us and he can do some damage.”

There’s little wiggle room for the Waratahs as they vie for a finals spot, sitting equal on points with conference leaders the Brumbies and four points out of a wildcard spot.

Taqele Naiyaravoro is keen to get stuck into Super Rugby. Photo: Getty ImagesGibson said the side’s approach was that every match was a must-win, and trying to continue the momentum from their shock win over the Chiefs a month ago.

“We need to win these three games to qualify through the conference system or be  a chance at wildcard,” he said.

“So, for us our focus goes into making sure we prepare well and get ourselves up and running from our last performance against the Chiefs.

“That was really encouraging particularly the way we played and we're looking to finish the season in a similar style."