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Episode 183 - Nigel Vagana

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In this podcast

3:21 – Welcome Nigel Vagana

4:01 - His Family background

5:07 – Moving back to his old neighbourhood

6:40 – Growing up with Joe Vagana and some of the other NRL boys

8:22 – Where his speed came from

9:54 – How he ended in league instead of union

12:00 – Playing against Jonah Lomu

13:37 – First game of Australian rugby league he watched

16:00 – Overseas trips to USC and what the American’s are learning about Rugby League

18:11 – Coming through the backs at the Richmond Bulldogs

20:14 – When he first signed with the Auckland Warriors

24:24 – The Warriors hiring an Island for Pre Season camp

27:30 – The unique run on tunnel at Mount Smart Stadium

28:38 – His interesting debut in the NRL

33:21 – Why he moved to England

39:39 – His amazing early Test record against Australia

47:58 - The underdog story of the 2005 New Zealand Kiwis

49:30 – Building a team of good people

52:43 – Stacey Jones and his crazy commitment to the Kiwi team

56:28 – How he got to the Bulldogs and the special culture at the club

1:00:49 – The tight-knit nature of the Dogs team

1:02:40 – What got the club through the salary cap scandal

1:05:59 – Did he find it hard to watch the 2004 Grand Final

1:08:30 – What it feels like to score 5 trys in a game

1:13:29 – Signing with Souths and phone messages from Russell Crowe

1:17:41 – When he knew it was time to retire

1:23:10 – Where he got the nickname “Pablo”

1:23:57 – How long it took to grow his beard

1:25:40 – 5 people he would invite to a private dinner party


Nigel Vagana is a former professional rugby league player who played in both the NRL and Super League.His NRL career took him to 4 clubs, Auckland, Canterbury, Cronulla and Souths for 240 games where he scored a staggering 140 trys. He was a main stayin the New Zealand test team for years where he is capped in 38 tests while he also played 2 tests for Samoa.

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Related Episodes - Episode 139: Willie Tonga | Episode 163: James Maloney |


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