16 Apr 2015

Waratahs without leading tryscorer for Hurricanes match

4:27 pm on 16 April 2015

The New South Wales Waratahs' leading try-scorer Taqele Naiyaravoro will miss Saturday's Super Rugby match against the unbeaten Hurricanes because of visa restrictions.

Naiyaravoro was unable to travel to Dunedin to play the Highlanders last month and Waratahs assistant coach Daryl Gibson has confirmed the Fiji-born winger won't make it to Wellington either.

The New South Wales Waratahs leading try scorer Taqele Naiyaravoro.

The New South Wales Waratahs leading try scorer Taqele Naiyaravoro. Photo: Photosport

Peter Betham will replace Naiyaravoro in the defending champions' starting line-up against the competition leaders.

"Taqele's visa application is an ongoing process and as such he is not able to travel overseas at this point in time," a spokeswoman for the Waratahs said.

The Waratahs declined to comment on whether the explosive 23-year-old, who leads the team with three tries, would be available for subsequent games in South Africa later in the year which could prove season-defining.

The Waratahs play the Lions in Johannesburg on May 30 before taking on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in the penultimate round of the season.

Australia's immigration authority declined to comment on the Fijian's case.

Naiyaravoro's omission could be a big blow for Michael Cheika's side, who are currently 10th in the competition with a precarious 4-3 record as they prepare to take on the undefeated Hurricanes.

The bulky, 120-kg winger played schoolboy rugby in Fiji but was recruited by Wests Tigers in Australia's National Rugby League in 2012 before switching back to union last year to join the Waratahs.

His spot in Saturday's squad is likely to be taken by Wallabies winger Peter Betham.