Edinburgh Rugby were today linked with signing a 19st and 6ft 5in Fijian-born winger as speculation intensified that try machine Tim Visser is on his way out of the club.
According to a report in the “Fiji Times” and other southern hemisphere news outlets, a move to Murrayfield from Super 15 side New South Wales Waratahs is close to a done deal for Taqele Naiyaravoro.
The report states: “Sources have indicated that a three-year contract is a ‘done deal’ with Edinburgh.
“Edinburgh, who are coached by former Stormers and Kings coach Alan Solomons, are searching for a replacement for Scotland Test winger Tim Visser, who recently turned down a contract extension and is expected to sign with an English or French club.”
Naiyaravoro only signed for Waratahs last year from rugby league but, despite playing just a handful of games, he is already being compared to one of rugby union’s all-time greats suggesting any Edinburgh interest could face competition.
A report on Waratahs’ first pre-Super 15 trial against Sydney club sides a few days ago says of Naiyaravoro, who is yet to play for Fiji: “The Fijian flyer produced Jonah Lomu-style runs down the sideline, trampling and fending off opposition to score a double and set up two more in 60 minutes terrorising club sides Randwick and Sydney University.”
Naiyaravoro hails from Yasawa Island, a five-hour boat trip off Fiji’s main island and where the Brooke Shields movie Blue Lagoon was filmed in the 1970s .
His manager, Tyran Smith, insists no deal has yet been done with Edinburgh while making it clear the player is open to offers from anywhere with Japanese sides believed to be showing keen interest.
One complication could be that Edinburgh have already signed Tongan winger Will Helu with coach Alan Solomons talking up the long-term prospects of young Scot Damien Hoyland.