Exeter to try centre Naqelevuki as a forward
August 8, 2014
Sireli Naqelevuki has scored 11 tries for Exeter from his usual role in the centres © Getty Images
Exeter Chiefs are set to experiment with using Fijian centre Sireli Naqelevuki as a forward.
Naqelevuki, who has a reputation as a physical ball-carrier, has scored 11 Aviva Premiership tries for the Chiefs since joining from Super Rugby's Stormers in 2010. But his role at Sandy Park could be about to change as he is scheduled to play a number of games in the pack for Exeter's academy.
"Sireli is training a fair bit with the forwards with a view that we're going to have a look at him as a back-rower," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said. "We'll see how that goes in a few pre-season run-outs. We are looking at him as a ball-carrying back-row option."
"It'll be relatively easy for Sireli to drop back to playing in the backs if that's what we decide to do, but he's spending a bit of time with the forwards and that gives us the opportunity to have a look at him in a couple of the academy run-outs.
"Whether we get to look at him in one of the main pre-season games will depend on how those outings go. It is a bit of an experiment but the thing with Sireli is that he's a very natural rugby player, so far he has dropped into most of it very well.
"If you think of Sireli's strengths, if we can get him on the ball a little bit more in the back-row we may make the most of his best attributes."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby