Clermont snap up Naholo

Date published: February 25 2015

Clermont have found their replacement for Napolioni Nalaga in the shape of Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo.

The 23-year-old, who is a New Zealand Sevens international, will join les Jaunards on a two-year deal with an option of a third.

Born in Fiji, Naholo first caught the eye as part of the Baby Blacks side that won the Junior World Championships in 2011.

He featured for Gordon Tietjens' Sevens side for three seasons, while he started playing for the Blues in Super Rugby.

He then joined the Highlanders this season, making his debut for them against the Crusaders last weekend.

Clermont coach Franck Azéma is delighted with the signing, and believes Naholo can fit in seamlessly as Clermont try to replace Nalaga, who is off to Toulon next year.

"Waisake has the kind of power and pace which few players have in this league. He can break tackles and knows where the try-line is, coming from an interesting cultural background," he said.

"He has the X factor, that unpredictable side we often see with Fijian players, but he grew up in New Zealand so has all the technical qualities and knowledge of the systems that you see with All Black players." 

"We're very pleased he's chosen to join us and we're sure that at the age of 23, his margin for progression is very big. He has an incredible potential. He won't take long to become well-known to our supporters, and I'm sure opposition defences as well."