Leicester Tigers and Fiji winger Nemani Nadolo shared his reservations about possible rule changes that would allow players to switch their international allegiances.
According to Leicestershire Live, the World Rugby Council will meet next week to vote on proposals that would allow rugby players to represent the country of their birth or ancestors after a three-year hiatus after their last cap.
Leicestershire Live reports that former All Blacks star Charles Piutau, who was last capped by New Zealand in 2015, is topping a list of names hoping to make a move to represent Tonga. Malakai Fekitoa, Capped 24 times by the All Blacks, has already made the jump Use of a loophole in Olympic sevens qualification while his wasp teammate Jeffery Tooaga-Allen, whose only New Zealand cap returned in 2013, is eager to move to Samoa.
If the rule change is approved, players like England international Nathan Hughes of Bristol Bears could be eligible to play for Fiji from 2022 – while others like Bath’s Semesi Rokoduguni would be eligible to play immediately after playing the last of his four internationals in England in 2017.
Nadolo was born in Sigatoka, Fijia and has represented his country 32 times in his 11-year international career.
“To be honest, I’m pretty much on the fence,” Nadoloi told the report. “There is this saying, you make your bed, you lie in it.
Nadolo, along with his teammate from Leicester Tigers Kini Murimurivalu, was excluded from Fiji’s squad for the fall internationals, but he was an interested spectator as his country Wales pushed all the way on Sunday, despite being reduced to 14 men at the start.
His reservations about opening the admissions rules depended on the potential of choking young talent coming through the ranks.
“I guess you’re trying to get two bites of the cherry,” said Nadolo. “For me, I think of the young people who get through, who don’t have the opportunity to play for another country. So I’m pretty much on the fence, but that’s just my opinion. “
Nadolo moved to Australia with his family when he was three months old. His rugby career flourished with Queensland Schoolboys, Perth Spirt, Manly and Randwick before joining the international scene with the Wallabies U20 at the 2008 IRB Junior World Cup, where he was the tournament’s top scorer at seven.
His club career included two positions in France at Bourgoin and Montpellier and four years at NEC Green Rockets in Japan. After a brief stint with the Exeter Chiefs a decade ago, Nadolo returned to England with the Leicester Tigers in 2019 – where he scored nine attempts in 23 games.
Sticking to Australia for his testing efforts would likely have resulted in more caps for a player in his pedigree and increased his chances of getting international cutlery – but Nadolo has no regrets.
“I was in that position, I chose Fiji,” he said. “I stayed with it, stayed with it. I was fortunate that it took me to some of the best places in the world to play rugby. I’ve made my decision and haven’t regretted it since. “