Naiyaravoro 'very grateful' as former Saints wing finds new club

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Taqele Naiyaravoro has made the move to Japan after leaving Saints this summer.

The powerhouse Australian wing, whose contract at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens had expired, has joined Green Rockets Tokatsu.

Naiyaravoro switched to Saints back in 2018, just weeks after he had broken the NSW Waratahs’ single-season try-scoring record in Super Rugby.

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He went on to score 15 tries in 50 Premiership games for the black, green and gold but saw his final season in Northampton ruined by a knee injury sustained during pre-season.

He was able to return to fitness just before the campaign ended, but was not able to play a part in the title push.

And now the 30-year-old will look forward to a fresh start in Japan.

"I am very grateful to the NEC Green Rockets Higashi-Kudzu for welcoming me,” Naiyaravoro said.

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"My goal this season is to express myself in League One, and to bring out my strengths to the fullest and contribute to the team.

Taqele Naiyaravoro has moved to JapanTaqele Naiyaravoro has moved to Japan
Taqele Naiyaravoro has moved to Japan

"It is my greatest pleasure to achieve these goals at Green Rockets Tokatsu."

When Naiyaravoro’s departure from Saints was announced back in April, Phil Dowson, who has taken over as the director of rugby this summer, had nothing but praise for the player.

"Taqele is one of very few players who on their day is undefendable,” Dowson said.

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"He can change matches and beat teams on his own with his huge physicality, but his skillset and soft skills are often underrated too.

"He’s been unlucky with injuries the last couple of years and – like all of those who are leaving us – we wish him the best for the future.”

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