Naivalu heading north as Reds confirm Perese release

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds have officially secured the services of Wallabies flyer Sefa Naivalu as a replacement for Broncos bound Izaia Perese.

Perese's push to leave the club was revealed overnight but the Reds have found a more than capable replacement in Naivalu.

The 10 Test winger will be one of the first players picked in coach Brad Thorn's best XV and while RUGBY.com.au understands there was an initial pushback from the Fijian flyer when approached about a move north, he has now set his sights on using the Super Rugby season as a vehicle to a maiden World Cup berth.

"Brad Thorn is a well known rugby player and I’m looking forward to working with him and learning more off him," Naivalu said.

"I just need to keep working hard and taking opportunities and execute how the coaches want me to execute and hopefully I get selected for the World Cup next year."

Sefa Naivalu is heading north. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleySecuring Naivalu's services for 2019 played a significant part in the release of Perese.

The club confirmed he will no longer be required next year after expressing a desire to "pursue opportunities in another sport".

Those opportunities lie with the Brisbane Broncos, who have signed the rising star for season 2020.

"We have thought long and hard about this, as releasing players from their contractual commitments isn’t something we take lightly," interim QRU CEO David Hanham.

"Izaia was released on the basis of us identifying a quality replacement and this has certainly been achieved.

"We wish Izaia all the best for his future."