South Sydney outside back Nigel Vagana has approached seniors players and staff at Souths and asked to be dropped from the Rabbitohs lineup for their game against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Naturally taking Souths by surprise, key signing Nigel Vagana spoke of his on-going battle with injuries to his back and hamstring that have prevented him from being 100% fit and being able to give the Rabbitohs the strike power they needed from him out-wide.
Vagana has had to manage his back and leg problem during the pre-season and at 33 years of age the former Warrior, Bulldog and Cronulla Shark finds it that little bit harder to bounce back from niggles.
It’s a bold move from Nigel and certainly the right one, asking for 4 weeks out of first grade to get himself back to peak fitness – Vagana looked well short on pace and thrust in the game against the Sydney Roosters and ultimately in today’s NRL, anyone playing at even 95% will get found out and cost their team.
Souths senior players have backed Vagana and conferred with management before coach Jason Taylor chose to leave the representative centre out of the squad this week. Such is the interest in the club and players at Souths these days, immediately rumours swept around as to the playing future of Nigel Vagana.
Club captain David Kidwell doubts that Vagana will walk away from the club and the game he loves altogether.
“Nigel told the senior players he wanted to have a few weeks off to get over his injuries and get fully fit, and said we were OK with that,” Kidwell said. “It was a shock. We had no idea he was in that frame of mind but I don’t think he’s going to quit or anything like that. He just wants to get himself 100 per cent fit and we respect him for that because he’s put the team first.
“I think he just wants to get back to being the strike player that he has always been.”
Vagana joins Souths new recruit Craig Wing on the sidelines, the injured Wing set to watch for the 3 months after that horror shot from Roosters hooker Riley Brown.