Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Kevin Naiqama’s NRL career at the Knights, Panthers and Tigers never got the chance to hit its stride, with the Fijian International only really playing in big games for his nation in the 2013 and 2017 editions of the Rugby League World Cup.
He then made the move to St Helens in Super League, experiencing instant and never-ending success, with Naiqama’s Saints winning the Super League Grand Final in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the League Leaders Shield in 2019 and the Challenge Cup in 2021.
To cap it all off the 32-year-old himself would go on to be awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy following the 2021 Super League Grand Final to cap off an amazing career in England.
It was confirmed during last season that Naiqama would be returning to Australia with his family.
“I’m putting my wife and daughter first and their wellbeing and mental health, my family will always come before my football,” said Naiqama in a statement for St Helens.
The most heartwarming interview you will ever see
Kevin Naiqama, 2021 Harry Sunderland Trophy winner 🏆
Awarded by the legend that is @Rob7Burrow 👏#SuperLeague #GrandFinal pic.twitter.com/fncEtTKLEm
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) October 9, 2021
“We’ve had an amazing time here at Saints, if things hadn’t have happened with COVID last year and not seeing my family then I probably would have extended at Saints, but I’m grateful for my time here.”
There was no indication given that he would keep on playing at any professional level, but now we most certainly know that he will be playing on, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the Sydney Roosters have offered him a one-year deal.
“Meanwhile, Naiqama, 32, is set to return to the NRL after a three-year stint in the UK with St Helens,” stated the report.
“Naiqama, who last played in the NRL with the Tigers in 2018, is preparing to sign a 12-month contract with the Roosters, adding depth to the club’s backline following the retirement of Brett and Josh Morris.”
The Roosters are now absolutely stacked on their edges, with Paul Momirovski recently signing with the club to join Billy Smith, Adam Keighran, Joseph Manu, Joseph Suaalii and now Kevin Naiqama.
Although, Naiqama can also play on the wing and will likely do so at the Roosters as he would be a great replacement for Daniel Tupou or Matt Ikuvalu if either were to go down with an injury.
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