France’s 145kg World Cup secret weapon flattens Fijian powerhouse
Not many players are able to sit down La Rochelle and Fiji flanker/centre Levani Botia with ease, but then again not many players are built like Toulouse lock Emmanuel Meafou.
Botia is renowned for his hard hitting and carrying, but he was smashed onto his backside after coming into contact with his 2.03 metre, 145kg opponent in the first half of the final, more specifically his right knee. This actually forced the Fijian to leave the field injured, although he did return to the action later in the game.
This was a pretty good indication of what a devastating carrier the 24-year-old Meafou is and why France are desperate to fast-track him into their World Cup squad. Although the Australian-born lock only becomes eligible to play for France in next year’s Six Nations, there is a loophole that they are trying to exploit as he has been part of Toulouse’s academy since 2018. He did, however, limp off the field on the hour mark, but there is yet to be any details on his injury or whether he is injured at all.
This carry alone shows why Fabien Galthie will want him at the World Cup later this year. Take a look:
Speaking on Le French Rugby podcast last year, Meafou said that he wants to play for France, which is an exciting prospect for Galthie.
“Oh man, I want to play for France,” Meafou said. “France is definitely on my radar. There’s been a little bit of discussion around it and I’ve been working around getting my passport, but I want to play at top level.
“I’ve been here now for over three years now so I would definitely love to play for France – if that came up I would definitely say yes to that. Until then, I want to play some good rugby for Toulouse and see what comes from it.”