SPORTS

Ryan: NZ Poaching, Paying Illegally

‘There’s money going to all sorts of people, and the player is the last person that sees any of that’ The way many Pacific Island players are recruited to New
01 Feb 2016 10:22
Ryan: NZ Poaching, Paying Illegally
Ben Ryan

‘There’s money going to all sorts of people, and the player is the last person that sees any of that’

The way many Pacific Island players are recruited to New Zealand clubs is “like the Wild West”, says Fiji’s 7s rugby coach Ben Ryan.

“We’re getting huge amounts of players going into clubs in New Zealand and Australia and elsewhere on visas that don’t allow them to be paid for playing rugby. I’ll see eight or nine members of a club all go to New Zealand at the same time.”

His comments come as it is revealed that some rugby clubs around New Zealand are allegedly creating bespoke jobs for Pacific Island rugby players, in order to get them work visas.

Ryan said the Pacific players often weren’t given the full picture.

“A lot of these boys will get a phone call from somewhere in New Zealand saying they want them to come over, and perhaps leave out a few important points.

“How are they going to survive on the money that they’ve been given, or the work that they’re doing?

“They get them doing manual labour on a low wage, maybe give them some pocket money to play for their clubs, and they’re dangling that carrot of a professional contract at ITM Cup level … when they know that these contracts aren’t going to be eligible to them unless they are eligible for New Zealand rugby.”

Sometimes players are on the wrong visas, Ryan says.

“They’re illegally being paid, and then they normally overstay because these clubs offer trials and say ‘if you can stay a bit longer we’ll give you an extra chance for this or that’.”

He said many agents come to Fiji to find players but are not registered.

“They’re … working on poaching players at tournaments, so they’re in breach of the visa travelling to Fiji.

“There’s money going to all sorts of people, and normally the player is the last person that sees any of that.”

Sunday Star Times

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: