EDITORIAL: Planning Rugby Pathway To The Top

There is no easy way to succeed. To reach the top, like climbing Mt Everest, there will be falls, slips and stumbles along the way before you reach the peak.
12 Dec 2015 21:37

There is no easy way to succeed.

To reach the top, like climbing Mt Everest, there will be falls, slips and stumbles along the way before you reach the peak.

Our rugby players, for so long, have been thrown into the cauldron, put into the test arena and we expected them to win against international teams who have been developed and properly harnessed through the years.

It’s so unfortunate then that we bank so much and for so long on our natural flair and talent to win us games.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians good show at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the performance of our Vodafone Fijian 7s team under Coach Ben Ryan highlighted that we competed well with the best with the limited resources, preparation and development.

It is therefore pleasing that after so many years, the Fiji Rugby Union has finally set up Elite Player Pathway Academy for 29 inductees which was launched at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva last Friday.

The new concept will see the 29 inductees go back to the training centres in Suva (HPU gym), Sigatoka (Lawaqa LTC) and Nadi (HPU gym) where they will be monitored by the trainers at the various centres.

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee said hard work and commitment was needed from the inductees in order to achieve their goals.

McKee said the programmes can take athletes to new heights and set the benchmark for future rugby players.

“This pathway can take players to the highest level of the game, it can take them to the Rugby World Cup, Olympic Games or 7s RWC,” McKee said.

“It comes down to your commitment and preparedness to work hard for the programme.

“I’ve been involved with rugby for many years and I see many talented athletes at 18 years of age who do not have the work ethic or commitment to reach the highest level of the game.

“And you don’t see them in two or three years time; players who progress to the highest level of the game are talented but also have the commitment and work ethic needed.”


8 women included

Of the 29 inductees, eight of are girls from Ballantine Memorial School, Jasper Williams High and St John’s College in Cawaci, Ovalau.

With the success of the Telecom Fijiana team, qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics,  McKee said was an exciting time for women’s rugby in the country.

“I’m very happy to see some young girls inducted into the academy for the first time in Fiji because it’s a massive growth area,” he said.

“We’ve seen how quickly the Telecom Fijiana have advanced in two years. They qualified for the Women Sevens Series and the Olympic Games and getting better every time.

“It’s an exciting time for women’s rugby and it’s only going to get bigger.

“At the moment we have the Fijiana playing on the world stage and we hope within a short while we can establish our 15s women’s rugby team to compete on the world stage.”

This is good news for women’s rugby. Setting a solid platform is a perfect way to create better rugby players for Fiji in future’.

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