Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs have re-signed exciting outside back Mark Nawaqanitawase until the end of the 2024 season.
The 22-year-old made his Wallabies debut in last year’s end-of-season tour to Europe and the UK, playing the final three Tests of the year, and was involved in new coach Eddie Jones’ first Wallabies camp last month.
With Italian and Fijian heritage, Nawaqanitawase earned his first cap against Italy in Florence, before taking on Ireland in Dublin a week later.
The winger scored his first Wallabies tries in the final Test of the year, crossing twice in Australia’s massive come-from-behind victory over Wales.
The explosive winger was a standout performer for the Junior Wallabies team that was runner-up to France in the 2019 World Championships, scoring a try in the first minute of the Final.
Nawaqanitawase burst onto the scene in his Super Rugby debut in 2020, scoring a double against the Crusaders in the opening round of the competition.
He had a breakout Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season under Darren Coleman in 2022 earning selection in the Australia A program for the Pacific Cup campaign and tour of Japan.
“I’m really happy to re-sign with the Waratahs and Australian Rugby,” Nawaqanitawase said.
“This is where I started my Rugby journey, and I’m proud to continue representing my state and the Wallabies.”
“We’ve got a great group of players and coaches both here and in the national setup, and I’m looking forward to playing my part in the success of both teams in the future.”
Strong performances in the Australia A program prompted Nawaqanitawase’s selection in the Wallabies squad for their end-of-season tour.
Wallabies Head Coach Eddie Jones said Nawaqanitawase was impressive in his games for the Wallabies in Europe, but it is a new season in 2023 and he has to earn his position back in the squad.
“He is fast and strong and he scores some spectacular tries, but he’s at his best when he’s doing the hard yards for his team and working off the ball.”
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman added that Nawaqanitawase is an exceptional talent who has come through the NSW Rugby pathways and they are thrilled that he has decided to continue his development with the Tahs.
“He’s an electric attacking player who has already made a significant impact at the highest levels of the game. We’re excited to see what he can achieve in the future.”