It’s been over two months since Ulster’s last match against the Toyota Cheetahs and with the PRO14 season suspended indefinitely, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the province’s fan favourites of yesteryear.
First up: Timoci Nagusa.
Matt Williams signed the 21 year old Fijian winger on a two year deal in July 2008 from Tailevu Knights. A powerfully quick winger, he scored eight tries in his two seasons at Ulster, racking up 30 appearances in the process.
Nagusa’s first season was not good from a team perspective – four opening losses including a thumping 43-0 defeat to Ospreys saw Ulster get off to bad start before scrambling over the line to an eighth place finish with only Newport Gwent Dragons and Connacht finishing below Matt Williams’s side.
In those days, all Ulster had to do was maintain their status as the “third Irish province” to secure Heineken Cup rugby for the next season. This wasn’t hard considering Connacht were in the wilderness.
Nagusa scored his first try for Ulster in the Heineken Cup match against Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop before two tries the following week in a shock interpro win over eventual Magners League winners Munster.
A threat around the ruck, Nagusa’s strength and ball handling ability allowed him to capitalise on weak pillar/guard defence around the breakdown.
He signed for Montpellier in 2010 and has been there ever since, winning the Challenge Cup in 2015-16 as well as casually chipping the towering Rupeni Caucaunibuca for this stunning try in the To-14 final against Stade Toulousain in the 2011:
Timoci Nagusa called time on his international career with Fiji in 2019 along with Montpellier team mate Nemani Nadolo, retiring with 16 tries in 26 test caps.
Below are a couple of snaps we got of Nagusa when he first arrived.