SPORTS

Life After Rugby

The Nadroga Rugby Union supports its players in achieving employment after playing rugby. This was the sentiment echoed by NRU president Jiko Matawalu as they gear up for the 2015
05 May 2015 08:59
Life After Rugby
Nadroga rugby players, from left, Manoa Tamaya, Eneri Lotawa and Ratu Penijamini Makutu during the Republic of Fiji Military Forces recruitment at the Force Training Group in Nasinu. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The Nadroga Rugby Union supports its players in achieving employment after playing rugby.

This was the sentiment echoed by NRU president Jiko Matawalu as they gear up for the 2015 Skipper Cup competition which starts later this month.

The union was losing key players Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Manoa Tamaya and Eneri Lotawa who had all been recruited by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), last week. Matawalu said it was always a priority to ensure their players had something to fall back on after rugby.

“Nadroga rugby supports life after rugby,” he said.

“We look at the bigger picture and while we’re very happy and blessed with all our success in the Skipper Cup and Farebrother Challenge, we like to see our players have something to take them further after their playing days are over.

“So when players secure overseas contracts or secure employment with the Forces whether it be the Republic of Fiji Military Forces or the Fiji Police Force, we support them and we don’t stand in their way because at the end of the day that’s what’s important.

“We don’t prepare them just for rugby but to aim for a life beyond the rugby field. If we lose the Skipper Cup but manage to have five or six of our players secure overseas contracts or be employed by the Police or Army, then we’ve accomplished our goal.”

Matawalu applauded pivotal Nadroga trio Ratu Penijamini, Lotawa and Tamaya who joined the RFMF and marched into camp over the weekend for their 12 weeks training.

“We support the decision they

have made. Of course they’re great players, but we’re not going to stop them from pursuing a better life that provides them with good employment.

“We’ve been providing a strong pool of players for the Fiji Police Force that have secured employment with them over the years. Now the recruitment of these three opens up another opportunity for us to establish a similar relationship with the Army too.”

Looking towards the 2015 Skipper Cup, Matawalu said it was business as usual for the champion union with preparations going according to plan.

“We have a pool of about 80 players that we can choose from, so there’s no shortage. And we’ve been following the training schedule that has been set up so we looking forward to another good season.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Rugby Union development officer Solo Finau confirmed that final fixtures for the 2015 Skipper Cup would be released on Thursday.

“We still have some changes to incorporate into the fixtures, but we should be releasing the confirmed programme by Thursday.”

BLK Nadroga are the defending champions of the Skipper Cup and will play a warm-up with Ovalau this weekend.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 

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