Nadolo backs his cousin to succeed at Saints

Nemani Nadolo is backing his cousin to establish himself at Saints.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:18 pm
Nemani Nadolo
Nemani Nadolo

Duane Ratu Willemsen joined Saints' Senior Academy early last month and the 20-year-old will now look to make his mark in Northampton.

At 6ft 6in tall and weighing in at 128kg, English-qualified Willemsen certainly has the raw credentials to pack a punch at Franklin's Gardens.

The back row forward has represented New South Wales at age-group level in rugby union and basketball and he recently enjoyed a stint in rugby league with the NRL’s St George Illawarra Dragons.

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And Nadolo, who scored two tries against Saints last month, is looking forward to seeing how his family member goes at the Gardens.

“He has got a British passport, which I guess is handy to have, and it is an opportunity that has come up and he has taken it,” said Nadolo.

“He is young enough to experiment with this journey he is going down.

"He’s a young kid who hasn’t played too much rugby but it’s not a bad place to learn the trade over here. I have always said English rugby is high up there.

“If you have got them in your ear and you are eligible and you can do all that, it would be silly not to look into it.

"I guess the way Australian rugby is going at the moment there is probably not too many opportunities there with the clubs and Covid.

“Covid plays a big part so for me it’s a no-brainer for him to come from rugby league. Good on him.

"They have signed him for three years so that would be more than enough time to hopefully see him in the Saints jersey, just not against us though.”