Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter hopes to finalise the signing of giant Fijian international Nemani Nadolo in the next few days from French Top 14 strugglers Bourgoin.
The 22-year-old winger, who stands 6ft 5ins tall and tips the scales at 19st 5lbs, was among the Sandy Park crowd on Saturday evening as he watched Bourgoin tackle the Chiefs in Pool Three of this season’s Amlin Challenge Cup.
Nadolo came to the attention of the Exeter coaches when he featured heavily for the French club in the previous Amlin Challenge Cup encounter back in October.
Since then Baxter has kept tabs on the imposing back, who is a cousin of Australian international Loti Tiquiri and has previously featured in the Super 14 for Aussie franchise the Waratahs.
Signed by Bourgoin at the start of this season, Nadolo ironically scored against the Chiefs in his side’s 34-19 ACC Cup defeat and has also scored three tries in 13 league games. However, injury ruled him out of action against his new club at the weekend.
Bourgoin’s campaign, however, has not been one to write home about and with the club rooted to the foot of France’s top division, plus financial problems off the field, Baxter has moved swiftly to secure the services of Nadolo.
Baxter, who hopes to sort out the player’s visa this week, said: “We became aware of Nemani when we did our analysis of Bourgoin before we played them in France and he then played well against us in the fixture itself.
“After some research we found out he was out of contract next season, and then Bourgoin’s problems this season meant he became available now.
“He is a big, powerful and fast player and is only 23. He is a good player who we feel can develop further and will suit our style of play and Premiership rugby. Hopefully we can get his visa sorted quickly enough for him to have some involvement in the LV= Cup games in the next month.”
The winger revealed the news of his departure via social networking website twitter, saying: “To save confusion, I have signed with Exeter for the rest of the season.”