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Big threat is big news for Tigers backline

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The phrase “give it a bash in the Premiership” was a throwaway line from Geordan Murphy, but it’s a pretty accurate description when you’re talking about a player the size of Nemani Nadolo.

It was big news this week when Tigers announced the arrival of the Fijian colossus for next season, even if it has been rumoured for a while.

And a “bash” is just what you’d expect from a back who is bigger than most of the forwards.

Nadolo is box office, the kind of player everyone other than an opposition defender wants to see on the ball, rampaging down the wing.

Alesana Tuilagi was a terrifying sight in possession at his peak, known for his power into contact and ability to bounce off defenders when in sight of the tryline. A ‘textbook’ tackle would not necessarily mean the end of the threat with a man of that size closing in on the whitewash.

His appearance on a teamsheet meant opposition would have to plan to counteract his strengths – and his strength – in a different way to keeping out the out-and-out pace of other wings.

And it is that kind of threat – physical and mental – that Murphy and Co have invested in for next season in the shape and size of Nadolo.

He has other attributes as an option out wide or in the midfield – putting him alongside Manu there could be seen as almost bullying – and as a left-footed goalkicker, but fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of seeing him at his physical best in attack.