May 10, 2021

Gallagher Chief Etene Nanai-Seturo set sights on Olympics

With the lure of an Olympic medal in two months, Gallagher Chiefs outside back Etene Nanai-Seturo have today returned to the All Blacks Sevens programme in a bid to be selected for the Tokyo games.

Nanai-Seturo and Blues winger Caleb Clark had originally been released from Super Rugby duties for the 2020 season in the pursuit for Olympic glory but returned to their clubs when Covid-19 resulted in the postponement of the Games.

Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins said it is a fantastic opportunity for Nanai-Seturo to pursue.

“The Chiefs Rugby Club and Gallagher Chiefs are incredibly supportive of the All Blacks Sevens quest for gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games. We know that Clark run outstanding programme,” said Collins.

“Clayton and I are delighted for Etene to have the chance to chase the Olympic dream. It is an incredible opportunity for rugby players to attend one of the world’s pinnacle sporting events. Etene is a talented young player and demonstrated his fantastic attacking ability for the Gallagher Chiefs this year in the Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa competition and we wish him all the best in pursuing his Olympic dream,” said Collins.

High Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said having the support of the clubs, and the All Blacks, in the build up to the Olympics was a boost for the sevens programme.

“Every time Caleb and Etene have been in our environment they have impressed so it is fantastic that they were keen to return to have a crack at making the Olympic team and that the clubs also supported that decision,” said Philp.

The players will likely have two tournaments to fight for Olympic selection, with a series against Australia later this month before an Oceania hit out in June.

All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw said he’s delighted to have the players back.

“They’ve been a big part of our team over the past two or three years, so it feels quite natural them coming back into our environment. The communication and connection has stayed strong in this period so now its about realigning them with how we are doing things and get them back up to speed with our game.

“They are both fit, fast and strong so physically they’ll slot in, our game has evolved a bit in the past six months though so some of the technical and tactical stuff will be really important to get right.”

Gallagher Chief Etene Nanai-Seturo set sights on Olympics