After a 156 days hiatus from the rugby pitch, the Northern Hemisphere awoke last weekend with the return to field of the Gallagher Premiership.
The 2019-20 season halted at round 14 in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic with players and fans starved of action for five long months.
Plenty of movement in the quarantine period allowed the Gallagher Premiership to open with a huge bang and plenty of Flying Fijians were amongst some of the biggest headlines.
Arguably the biggest off-season trade was that of Semi Radradra move’s to Bristol.
The big ticket price tag paid off instantly for Bristol as our beloved Semi-Trailer made a huge impact in his debut helping Bristol to a thrilling victory over Saracens.
The commentators couldn’t get enough of Radradra complimenting the Fijian centre’s on and off field contribution.
“Everyone’s hanging off him. I noticed the nines are running all their running lines when the ball goes to him. They’re waiting to get the offload” Director of Rugby Pat Lam told 5 Live Sport. “There are a lot of phenomenal players. He’s got an X-factor, yes, he’s got power – but the professionalism he’s got is unreal.”
Inspiring for loyal followers of the Fijian Drua was Flying Fijians tight head prop Eroni Mawi making his debut for Saracens with a solid 10 minutes off the bench. Fellow Rugby World Cup team mates Api Ratuniyarawa and Sam Matavesi both started for Northampton Saints as they took on Wasps.
It was Ratuniyarawa’s first match since being serving a four week suspension in January. The towering second row showed plenty childlike enthusiasm throughout the match, clearly missing the game after almost 7 months on the sideline.
Starting at fullback for Bath Josh Matavesi took the victory against Albert Tuisue’s London Irish where he continued with his dominance at number 8. Yet to be seen in the Premiership are Harlequins’ Tevita Cavubati and Leicester Tigers new signings Nemani Nadolo and Kini Murimurivalu. Fijian rugby fans across the world will get to see more of their stars in action from this weekend as the Guinness Pro14 kicks off in Europe. It’s a clash of the titans with Fijian team mates in battle against each other as Glasgow takes on Edinburgh.
Nikola Matawalu, Leone Nakarawa, and Mesulame Dolokoto will look to feature for Glasgow Warriors while Eroni Sau, Viliame Mata, Lee-Roy Atalifo and Mesulame Kunavula will be vying for spots in Edinburgh’s match day 23. France’s Top14 and ProD2 are scheduled to commence their 2020/21 season on September 3.