Naholo 'really excited' for NPC return with Canterbury

Former All Black Waisake Naholo says he is excited to be back in the New Zealand rugby scene after a tough stint in the UK.

Waisake Naholo scores a try double for the All Blacks against the Wallabies. Source: Photosport

Naholo turned heads yesterday when it was announced he had joined Canterbury for this year’s National Provincial Championship.

The powerhouse winger played eight years with Taranaki before he joined the London Irish at the end of 2019, however the venture was rough as he made just four appearances for his new club due to injuries.

Naholo told SENZ he feared no one would want to sign him due to his troublesome right knee and decided to come home to extend his career.

“I’ve been injured in the UK so I decided to come home and try to continue playing here,” Naholo said.

“To join this club as well is something else for me, I’m really excited. I didn’t think anyone was going to pick me up.

“Canterbury is not too bad a team to be a part of.”

Naholo had surgery on his troublesome knee last year and while it fixed his issues, he added it may have taken some speed out of his game.

“Probably not as fast as before but if I’ve got space I’ll put the foot down a bit,” Naholo said.

“If I’m not too fast then I’ll probably just have to look for contact.”

The 30-year-old added he wasn’t thinking about anything further than delivering for Canterbury but was open to it.

“At the moment, just the NPC.

“Hopefully I’ll get something with Super Rugby, if they’re happy then that’s a bonus for me.”

Canterbury kick off their NPC campaign against Auckland at Eden Park on the 8th of August.