European Player of the Season Nakarawa staying at Scotstoun
Glasgow Warriors have announced that Fijian second row, Leone Nakarawa, will remain at Scotstoun until summer 2021, subject to visa, in a deal penned prior to the coronavirus lockdown and confirmed today (Wednesday 24 June) by new Head Coach Danny Wilson.
Nakarawa — Warrior number 224 — needs no introduction to the Warrior Nation. He made his Glasgow Warriors debut against Connacht in November 2013 and went on to be awarded Player of the Match in Glasgow Warriors’ victorious 2015 Guinness PRO12 final.
In 2016, Nakarawa moved to French TOP14 outfit Racing 92 where he continued to finesse his game and cement himself as a world-class lock — being named European Player of the Season at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Nakarawa’s accolades extend into the international game as well. The Fijian lock boasts 62 caps for his country; he was named in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Team of the Tournament; and won a gold medal, as a part of the Fiji squad that won the first Olympic rugby sevens event in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
On 2 January 2020 it was announced that Nakarawa had put pen-to-paper on a deal that would see him return to Scotstoun until the end of the season, describing the club as a his “family” and “home away from home”.
Head Coach, Danny Wilson welcomed Nakarawa’s contract extension saying, “Leone is a world-class rugby player and a really exciting addition to Warriors squad for next season. His reputation as an attacking threat goes before him and as a coach I know from experience how difficult he is to prepare against.”
“Leone offers expertise and experience in a variety of positions in the pack and I know how popular he is with players and supports. I’m looking forward to working with him as we move forward into the new season and conclude the 2019/20 season.”
Since returning to Glasgow Warriors in January 2020, the six-foot and six inches, 32 year-old, has turned out for the club on just two occasions, in the Guinness PRO14, but already appears in the top five of the Guinness PRO14 offloads table. He sits joint fourth, with ten offloads to his name, tied with Cardiff Blues stand-off Jarrod Evans, who’s played nine league games to date.
In his only other appearance since returning to the club in January, Nakarawa opened the scoring in Glasgow Warriors 45-7 Heineken Champions Cup victory over Sale Sharks driving over from close range after just three minutes.
Nakarawa is currently in Fiji and will remain and train in the country until August as he awaits the birth of his child. The club wishes him the very best at this time and looks forward to him returning to Glasgow in due course.