It’s good to be back - Nakarawa
Three years, nine months and 16 days have passed since Leone Nakarawa stepped out onto the Scotstoun pitch in a Glasgow Warriors jersey. Tonight, the Fijian will once again run out in front of the Warrior Nation.
The man from Tavua has already made quite the impression at the start of his second spell with the club; after a reaction more usually associated with rock stars greeted his re-signing, Nakarawa took all of two minutes to cross the whitewash on his second club debut against Sale Sharks last month.
Judging from the smile that’s been a near-permanent fixture on his face during the last week of training, it’s clear Nakarawa is enjoying his return to Glasgow just as much as the Warrior Nation.
“It’s really good to be back,” he said.
“I’m excited to be back with the boys and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Glasgow supporters once more. The challenge I set to myself is to play at the level I was playing at before I left [in 2016].”
That level is an indication of the standards to which Nakarawa holds himself. Indeed on his last outing in a Glasgow shirt, the 2016 Olympian went out and grabbed a hat-trick against Zebre in a 70-10 victory. With the same opponents coming to town this evening, can the Scotstoun faithful expect something similar?
“I don’t know about a hat-trick this time!” laughed the Fijian.
“First things first I want to do my job as a forward and help the team as best I can.
“We want to get the win first, and anything that comes after that is a bonus.”
With the race for a place in the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 Final Series heating up at the top of Conference A, Dave Rennie’s men know that every point is vital between now and the end of the season. Despite the clash taking place on Valentine’s Day, there will be no room for niceties in front of a packed house at Scotstoun tonight.
Nakarawa himself is fully focused on the task at hand - he’ll reflect on his second home debut later.
“Zebre will be a challenging opponent, but it’s a challenge I’m excited about,” said the man himself.
“The Italian teams are always a physical test, but we’ll front up well. The boys have been preparing really well and it’s up to us to go out there and perform. If they bring their physicality, we’ll front up to meet that.
“All that matters is performing to the best of our ability – we know that if we run our plays and go out there, then we’ve got enough to get the job done.”