Leone Nakarawa quits army to represent Fiji


James Mortimer     20 Aug 2011     getty

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that the 23-year-old was now free to enter the country and be part of Fiji’s 30-man squad for the tournament, with Fijian coach Samu Domoni confirming the second row forward would be part of his final selection.

"The New Zealand government has been advised Fijian rugby player Leone Nakarawa has resigned from the Republic of Fiji military forces and has been discharged," McCully said.

"The New Zealand government will grant Nakarawa a temporary exemption from the travel sanction, this allows him to play for Fiji in the Rugby World Cup."

"While we would normally take a little longer to provide an exemption or lift the sanction in respect of a person resigning from the military, in this case we agreed to act more quickly."

Nakarawa has also indicated that the move was purely rugby related, and was not intending on re-enlisting at the conclusion of the World Cup.

The lock is the only likely member of the World Cup squad that was affected by the ban, with Fiji intentionally not naming him in the recent selection to play the All Blacks to avoid any issues.