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EDITORIAL: Rugby Sabbatical Way Forward For Our 7s Reps

EDITORIAL: Rugby Sabbatical Way Forward For Our 7s Reps
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s captain Seremaia Tuwai.
August 12
12:29 2018

Some of our senior reps in the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team have been playing rugby’s abbreviated code for so long.

And they need a break to freshen for the long run for their own good and for the country.

They need to jump ship and pursue a stint in 15s for six months or more as they need to rediscover their mojo.

The rugby sabbatical has done wonders for international rugby stars.

It not only enabled them to stay longer in the game, but also to stay competitive and in the process earn more financially.

Former All Black pivot Dan Carter was granted a sabbatical clause in his contract which allowed him to play for Top 14 club Perpignan in France.

Seventeen years after making his debut for the All Blacks, Carter still makes a living by playing professional rugby for the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

Fullback Ben Smith also took a rugby sabbatical in 2013 and still plays Super Rugby for the Highlanders and the All Blacks since making his debut in 2009.

The rugby sabbatical is seen to connect a player’s career in his prime to his twilight years and it’s more of a mental break than a physical one.

Our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team fell short of their mission statement in 2018.

The Seremaia Tuwai-captained team failed to win the World Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens.

The World Sevens Series resume in Dubai in November and some players need to venture out and earn a few dollars more playing the sport.

We often forget that rugby is a career and it is the sole source of income for many of our rugby players.

And like other forms of employment, doing it for a long time without any kind of break can destroy motivation and output.

The sabbatical is the way forward for our 7s reps if they are to be part of the modern game.

All Blacks sevens reps Scott Curry, Joe Webber and Tim Mikkleson recently signed a deal with New Zealand Rugby up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

And for the next two years they will play 15s rugby for their provincial teams.

Players need a new direction and new environment to keep them spot on and competitive.

When the players are happy, the rugby is good, and that’s what fans of the great game can ask for.

A rugby sabbatical is the way forward for 7s reps if they are to be competitive in the long run.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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