REPORT: Fiji set to get superstar back for Nations Cup
NEWS: Bristol centre Semi Radradra is understood to have made a rapid recovery from a serious hamstring injury and is set to take his place in the Fiji squad to take on France in their opening Nations Cup match on November 15, according to RMC Sport.
This puts back onto the pitch the potential midfield clash between fellow Fijians Radradra and Virimi Vakatawa who has become a key figure in the France backline. Radradra and Vakatawa are rated two of the most dangerous centres in world rugby but it appeared the hamstring injury Radradra suffered playing for Bristol in the Challenge Cup Final against Toulon on October 16 had ruled this clash out.
Radradra, who left Bordeaux-Bègles Union earlier this year to join Bristol, made an immediate impact in the Premiership and will join the rest of the Fiji squad training in Limoges on Wednesday. Radradra’s recovery is the boost Fiji needed following three positive tests amongst their squad for COVID-19 and the Bristol centre will have to be tested again on arrival.
Head coach Vern Cotter has had to amend his training sessions to limit contact to small groups following the positive tests and the squad is set to undergo more testing on Wednesday in an attempt to get back to normal preparations with contact training.
Fiji are being monitored daily by their medical team and supported by the medical arm of the French Rugby Union and the Six Nations who are organising the Autumn Nations tournament. The Fiji team will be tested twice a week along with the seven other competing teams as they prepare for the Cup.
John O’Connor, the FRU chief executive, has confirmed that the Fiji players who were released to play for their clubs at the weekend and those who have yet to join the team in camp will also be tested. If they are negative those players will join the group only when they have tested negative again.
By Chris Jones, @RugbyPass