Switching Codes Vol 3

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For the first edition of switching codes this year I thought I would make it a special one.

We have selected 2 current players, two retired legends and a non rugby player. Let’s get straight into it.

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Siva Naulago – NFL Running Back

We know Siva is a gun at both Rugby codes. He proved that in the Super League and his first season with Bristol he does not look out of place at all. In fact he has transitioned over very well and is in the sights of England coach Eddie Jones who was quoted as saying Siva “excites me” .

More on point, I think Siva would make a terrific running back in American Football. Speed, power, vision and just that rare ability to beat a defender. The typical running back in the NFL is usually in the 5’9 – 5’11 and about 200 pounds. Naulago is at around 210 pounds and 6 feet which makes him the perfect weight to height ratio for a balanced running back.

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Waisale Serevi – NRL Halfback

The King of Sevens lived out his boyhood dream of playing Sevens for Fiji and did so his whole career. If he wanted to change codes altogether I am very confident he would have made an excellent Rugby League halfback. If we’re talking 90’s then we’re looking at the likes of Allan Langer, Ricky Stuart and Stacey Jones, all brilliant generals who are similar stature to the Sevens wizard.

His goosestep and array of passes would have thrilled crowds who had seen nothing like that at the time. His work ethic and commitment all but guaranteed he would excel at least to the best of his ability, which was endless.

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Patrick Osborne – NRL Centre

The former Highlanders and Flying Fijian winger was as skilful as they come. Would his skill set transition well into the 13 man code? I say definitely. If I was to compare him to anyone I would say Mate Ma’a Tonga fullback William Hopoate. Osborne’s vision and awareness could even see him play fullback but I’m going to slot him at centre where his offloading skills are best put to use.

Nic Naitanui – Rugby Loose forward

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If West Coast star ruckman Nic Naitanui ever wanted to try his hand at another sport other than AFL, and Basketball, then he would make the perfect lock in Rugby. At 203cm (6’7) he is 3cm taller than Leone Nakarawa and weighs in at about the same 110kg. Fiji would never lose another lineout and with his impressive vertical leap he probably wouldn’t even need to be lifted.

Naitanui is known for his athleticism and aggression so you could say Rugby is already ingrained in him.

Nemani Nadolo – NRL Second Row

It’s fun to think of the carnage Nems could create in Rugby League. Yes he would absolutely be a star on the wing but I’m going to put him into the second row, running out on the edge setting up his centre and winger with his skill and offloads.

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To put it into context, Panthers star Viliame Kikau who is the biggest second rower in the NRL, stands at 195cm and around 117kg. Nadolo is also 195cm but weighs in at 123 kg for his current club Leicester. Throw in his bag of tricks and kicking game, he would own opposition teams. Just think of the Bati side with Nadolo and Kikau as their second rowers!

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Join in the conversation

That’s it for Volume 3. What did you think of that list? Are there any Fijians who you think would play well in another code? Join in the conversation and add your comments below.

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