Wallabies on high alert from Nadolo threat

The Wallabies know they have a 195cm, 130kg hurdle to overcome in their World Cup opener in the shape of Fijian talisman Nemani Nadolo.

The enormous winger is well-known to the Wallabies playing group – and not just because of his devastating runs and tryscoring feats for the Crusaders in the past two Super Rugby seasons.

The cousin of Wallabies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani, and former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri, Nadolo has been making waves in Australian rugby for nearly a decade – running riot in Sydney club rugby for Randwick and Manly.

“He’s always been that kind of player with the X-factor – a big boy with a lot of skill,” said Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu, who played alongside Nadolo at Randwick in 2007.

“He’s one to watch and we’ve got systems to try to nullify his game and put him under a bit of heat.”

In 2008 Nadolo was drawn away from Randwick for club rival, Manly, by another Wallaby World Cup squad member – No.8 Wycliff Palu, who will miss the Fiji clash with a hamstring injury.

Certainly nothing Nadolo has to offer will surprise Australia, but stopping him is another matter entirely.

“I’d probably try and take space from him,” offers monster lock Will Skelton.

“If you do take space, he’s got a good short kicking game – those little grubbers and chip kicks.

“I haven’t been in that situation (where I’ve needed to tackle him one-on-one).

“But I guess if you come in with good technique and good leg drive, you’ll make that tackle every day.”

Nadolo showcased his talents in Fiji’s 35-11 loss to England on Friday – scoring a try, kicking goals and being their go-to option at all times.

“He’s become a bit of a voice for them, that’s a credit to him,” Kepu adds.

And it is his damaging runs, crashing through defensive lines and skittling defenders, which has the Wallabies on high alert.

However Skelton cautioned that putting too much focus on Nadolo would open up the game for talented No.10 Ben Volavola, European-based lock Leone Nakarawa and outside centre Niki Goneva.

“They’ve got strike players all over the field,” he said.

“If you put all the eggs in one basket to shut down Nadolo, (then) Benny takes it to the line and he shows and goes, and goes through.

“You can’t target one specific guy because you’ve got players in their team who can make big plays.”

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