Rugby: Family rivalry fuels Australia's Tevita Kuridani and Fiji's Nemani Nadolo

Australia's centre Tevita Kuridrani attends a training session at the University of Bath.
Australia's centre Tevita Kuridrani attends a training session at the University of Bath. PHOTO: AFP

CARDIFF (REUTERS) - If any Australia player is aware of the threat Fiji winger Nemani Nadolo could pose in Wednesday's Rugby World Cup clash, it is his cousin Tevita Kuridrani.

Kuridrani's has made the Australia outside centre spot his own since his test debut in 2013 and is very much looking forward to coming up against Nadolo at the Millennium Stadium. "Yeah, it'll be good," the quietly spoken 24-year-old, who was born and raised in Fiji, told reporters on Tuesday. "I've had a few chats with Nemani earlier in the week. Just talking about how proud the family are back home and for us to be here playing against each other on a big stage.

"Excited and can't wait to get out there."

The pair hail from a family littered with top-class rugby players - former Wallabies winger Lote Tuqiri is another cousin - and it was Nadolo who looked more likely to play for Australia after moving to Brisbane as an infant.

"He used to come back to Fiji for holidays and we always played on the beach," Kuridrani recalled. "We didn't imagine that we'd be playing against each other on the big stage later on."

Kuridrani joined his cousin in Australia in his mid-teens and while Nadolo failed to justify his billing as the "new Jonah Lomu" at the New South Wales Waratahs, his young cousin established himself as a key member of the ACT Brumbies side.

Nadolo's return to Super Rugby with the Canterbury Crusaders this year was little short of spectacular, however, and he scored nine tries in 13 matches with a string of rampaging performances.

"Our last match was the Brumbies against Crusaders," said Kuridrani. "He was a very big threat for us in the backline. Very dangerous with the ball in hand and I think he scored a couple of tries."

Nadolo made an instant impact on the World Cup when he lifted his 20 stone frame above England winger Anthony Watson to score his team's first try and also weighed in with a long-range penalty.

He and Kuridrani are not the only relatives playing for different countries at the World Cup this year - New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams and Samoa's Tim Nanai-Williams are also cousins.