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Coventry sign exciting Fijian front row prospect Vilikesa Nairau

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday Nov 30, 2023

Coventry Rugby, currently holding a mid-table position in the Championship, has officially confirmed the acquisition of Vilikesa Nairau, a dynamic 21-year-old Fijian tighthead prop.

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The signing comes at a crucial juncture for the team, currently sitting in seventh place in the English second tier with an even 50/50 record in the early stages of the 2023/24 campaign, boasting two victories and two losses in their first four matches.

Nairau, known for his explosive ball-carrying skills and genuine pace, joins the Coventry squad with immediate effect.

The versatile prop is not only proficient on the tighthead but also possesses the ability to operate effectively on the left-hand side of the scrum when the situation demands.

His international experience includes representing Fiji at the U20s level, where he faced formidable opponents such as Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand in a tournament on the Sunshine Coast in 2022.

Additionally, Nairau showcased his talents on the global stage by playing for the Fijian Armed Forces in the World Armed Forces Championship held in France.

Within the Fijian domestic rugby scene, Nairau plies his trade with FMF Suva Rugby, a team that clinched the Skipper Cup in October.

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His decisive match-clinching try in the final underscored his reputation as an explosive ball-carrier endowed with a remarkable turn of pace.

Coventry boss Alex Rae expressed enthusiasm about the new addition, emphasising Nairau’s potential and outstanding attributes. Rae highlighted the Fijian’s physical prowess as a significant asset for a young prop, noting his capability to seamlessly transition between both sides of the scrum. Recognising the adjustment Nairau faces moving to Coventry, Rae affirmed the club’s commitment to facilitating a smooth transition for the young talent.

“It’s great to welcome Vilikesa to Coventry. He is a young man with great potential and some fantastic attributes. Physically he is extremely gifted for a young prop and he can play both sides of the scrum which is a bonus.

“It’s our job to help him settle and feel really welcome as Coventry is a big change from what he is used to. It’s a really exciting signing; we believe it’s going to be a great fit for both parties and can’t wait to see him pull on a Cov shirt.” Rae said.

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The Coventry coaching staff is optimistic that the signing of Vilikesa Nairau will prove to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, eagerly anticipating his debut in the coveted Cov shirt. As the young Fijian talent steps into this new chapter of his career, it will be interesting to see if he can become the next great Pacific Island talent to feature in English Rugby.

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