Nemani Nadolo, the 35-year-old rugby veteran, has confirmed on social media that he will retire from professional rugby after the 2023 season. Nadolo left Leicester in November and signed a one-year Super Rugby Pacific deal with the Waratahs. After four games into his second stint with the Sydney-based team, he has announced his decision to retire.
With 32 Test caps for Fiji, Nadolo began his career with the Waratahs before moving to Europe to play for Exeter and Bourgoin. He then played for the Green Rockets in Japan, followed by a stint with the Crusaders in New Zealand. He spent the next four seasons in France at Montpellier before joining Leicester. After the pandemic, he decided to return to the Waratahs for the 2023 season.
Speaking on social media, the powerhouse winger said:
“2023 will be the year that I call time in my rugby career,” he wrote in an emotional message on his social media accounts. “When I signed my first professional contract in 2008, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would go on to experience this incredible journey.
“I have had a lot of highs and a lot of lows during my time. I have travelled the world from Japan, France, UK and New Zealand. Moving home to Australia with my young family and my aging legs, I knew it was time to consider what is best for me and my future. It’s the question we all face as professional athletes, ‘What’s next?’
“As one chapter in my life comes to an end, another begins. I wish to thank the NSW Waratahs for bringing me home. It was always my dream to retire on home soil in front of my friends and family.
“For now, the season must go on and I look forward to finishing this season with my amazing teammates. Thank you to everyone for all the support over the years. You are the reason why we do what we do. God bless.”
It’s time.❤️🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/9EkW6iua1x
— nemzy (@nemani_nadolo) April 6, 2023
Support from fans and clubs has been very forthcoming, with the Exeter Chiefs saying, “Good luck for the future Nemz, we wish you well from D-County” and the Barbarians, joking “Quality career. You’re done with pre-seasons”.