NEW Worcester Warriors signing Melani Nanai is understood to be on the All Blacks standby list for the Rugby World Cup after being “held back” in New Zealand.

The uncapped Samoa-born full-back has been in flying form for the Blues, making 142 carries, racking up 966 metres and beating 49 defenders in just 13 Super Rugby appearances this term.

But he looks set to miss the start of Warriors’ Gallagher Premiership season after director of rugby Alan Solomons revealed the versatile back had been retained by New Zealand Rugby Football Union for the Mitre10 Cup.

While fellow Warriors recruit Matt Moulds is expected to arrive at Sixways on July 1 after finishing the Super Rugby season with Blues, his team-mate is poised to play in the country’s provincial competition that runs until late October.

And Solomons believes Nanai, who is set to star for reigning champions Auckland, will be among a number of players that will be under consideration by the All Blacks if they pick up any injuries during the World Cup.

“At the moment all our new players will be here by the start of the season and by July 1 when we gather again,” Solomons said.

“An exception is Melani who is being held back in New Zealand at the moment.

“As I understand it the Mitre10 Cup is going to be played at the same time as the World Cup so if New Zealand get any injuries they have got guys who are playing rugby that they can haul in.

“Melani has been held back and we have got to wait to hear when he is going to be released.

“He is not in that wider (New Zealand) squad at the moment but he has had a really good Super Rugby season, that is for sure.

“I have watched quite a few of the Blues’ games and I think he has played really well.”

Nanai was born and raised in Samoa and represented them at under 20 level but he has played most of his rugby in New Zealand, notching more than 50 Super Rugby games for the Blues.

The 25-year-old also played a crucial role in guiding Auckland to Mitre10 Cup glory along with Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa last year.

“I am not saying that he is going to (play for New Zealand) but he has not been released at the moment so he certainly would have to play in the Mitre10 Cup,” Solomons said.

“If nobody was playing in August and September and (the All Blacks) wanted to call upon a player it would be more difficult.

“Whereas if they are playing rugby at that particular time it would be easy.

“I would imagine Auckland would want Melani in any event because according to Michael, who played in that Auckland team that won the Mitre10 Cup, he said that Melani literally won it on his own.”

Hooker Moulds, scrum-half Jono Kitto, flanker Caleb Montgomery, lock Graham Kitchener and props Richard Palframan and Conor Carey are set to check in at Warriors for the beginning of pre-season next month.

But Warriors also face being without seven-cap Samoa speedster Ed Fidow who is set to represent his country at the World Cup.

The 25-year-old wing scored seven tries in 14 games for Provence who finished 10th in the 2018-19 ProD2 campaign “Ed is part of the Samoa squad at this point,” Solomons said.

“Whether he makes that we will see but he has been playing for them so I would assume that he is going to make the final cut for the World Cup.”