- DOB7 Dec 1991
- BirthplaceYasawa Islands
Wing Taqele Naiyaravoro arrived in Northampton for the 2018/19 season just weeks after he had broken the Waratahs’ single-season try-scoring record in Super Rugby.
The Fijian-born behemoth instantly become a Saints supporter favourite for his immense ball-carrying ability, leaving opposition defenders strewn in his wake as he made some 28 appearances during an explosive debut season at Saints.
That first campaign saw him score 11 tries, making more metres and clean breaks than any other player in the Premiership, and becoming the only player to beat a century of defenders in one league season since data has been recorded.
Naiyaravoro was initially recruited by Sydney rugby league side Wests Tigers before turning out for Balmain Tigers in the NSW Cup.
However, a switch to rugby union saw him link up with NSW Waratahs between 2014 and 2015, before taking a year out of Super Rugby to feature for Glasgow Warriors, where he scored another nine tries in 22 appearances.
Naiyaravoro then headed to Japan’s Top League and Panasonic Wild Knights where he was selected to feature in a World XV side in 2015; the wing posted a hat-trick in his debut against Japan before being named in the Barbarians squad to face Samoa just a week later.
His performances on the international stage caught the eye of Australia coach Michael Cheika and after scoring for the Wallabies with his first touch of the ball in a one-off Test against USA, Naiyaravoro returned to Australian club rugby with the Waratahs.
Good form saw Naiyaravoro named in the Australia squad to face England in 2016 – coming on in the final Test to score against a Red Rose side containing future Saints teammates Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Teimana Harrison and Paul Hill.
Naiyaravoro was selected for the Barbarians again during the 2016 end-of-year internationals, starting against South Africa and scoring a try while setting up two more in a man-of-the-match performance, before featuring for the famous touring side again in a one-off match against England in 2019 following a stellar first season with Saints.