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Enigmatic Nacewa was our very own version of Keyser Soze – McFadden

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Leinster's Isa Nacewa. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster's Isa Nacewa. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Isa Nacewa, Leinster, celebrates with the trophy Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Isa Nacewa, Leinster, celebrates with the trophy Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Leinster's Isa Nacewa. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Isa Nacewa was not just one of 'The Usual Suspects', he was Keyser Soze. So says Fergus McFadden.

For those who have not seen it, Soze was a fictional character in the Gabriel Byrne film who was everywhere and, yet, nowhere, a legendary figure, ghosting through the production.

"Isa is a funny character. He is a bit of an enigma. It is like you go to training. He is the first one there. After training, he doesn't hang around," said McFadden.

"You see him for matches and he's just the best every time. It is strange. He's almost like Keyser Soze. He is that kind of character."

This is where Soze, the mythical character, and Nacewa, the man, diverge. The Aucklander will return to New Zealand as a living legend of the northern hemisphere.

"He is just a great guy. You wouldn't meet a more humble person, genuinely," said McFadden.

"Even when we were picking him up there at the end of the game, he hates it. He doesn't like to be in the spotlight. He is just a legend."

There is plenty of life left in the legs of Nacewa, plenty of twists, turns and fuel-injected acceleration to test the best defences in world rugby.

"The fact he's giving up is disappointing for rugby spectators. But I can just thank God that I got the chance to play with him for a few years.

"I suppose his actions often spoke louder than words. He was never a big speaker in the changing room before a game or during the week.

"Lots of people can say lots of things. He led amongst leaders. He was one of those people.

"It wasn't just those games in Europe. It is the times you go over to Firhill during the year when you have people missing in Ireland camp. It is always 100 per cent."

The 30-year-old leaves the sport on his own terms. What the game of rugby has given to him can be measured by what he has given to it.

Everything.


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