SPORTS

Life After Super Rugby

Fijian Drua players need to be assisted to have a second career while playing, says former PM
25 Feb 2022 16:00
Life After Super Rugby
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua winger Vinaya Habosi dives over to score a try against the Melbourne Rebels in a pre-trial clash on February 10, 2022 . Habosi, who plays for Namosi in the Skipper Cup competition gets his second Super Rugby Pacific start against the Brumbies in Canberra, Australia, tomorrow. Photo: rugby.com.au

To be playing professional rugby until your mid-30s is now considered an achieve­ment.

Considering the physical toll rug­by can take on the body, more play­ers are having their time on the paddock cut short by injury.

The age of those players appear to be getting steadily younger.

It is a fact that players spend more of their life as a former profession­al player than a current one.

Then there are challenges in adapting to life after rugby – know­ing how you’ll support yourself (and your family) financially, once the rugby pay cheques stop.

This can help relieve some of the stress.

Many Fijians have reached the Super Rugby competition since its inception 25 years ago, and so many of them failed to give much thought about their future.

Ex-Flying Fijian prop Sitiveni Rabuka said there was no excuse now for rugby players to be caught off-guard, should there be a prema­ture ending to their rugby career.

“Be smart, take all aspects of your rugby union career serious­ly,” Rabuka said.

“As former president of Fiji Na­tional Rugby League I encourage young people to pursue avenues of their careers but not to sacrifice education. Playing rugby union or rugby league are short term ca­reers, they finish at 30-35 years of age. Start thinking about what is coming up next.”

Speaking to SUNsports the for­mer Prime Minister and Army Commander said players must start to think outside of rugby.

“In the next five years, the Fijian Drua can be on the top of elite club competition, incentives from Super Rugby and others are huge. Players need to be assisted to have a second career while playing,” he said.

“To be in such a competition is a strenuous programme, and then there are ways players can be upgraded with knowledge and skills.”

Meanwhile, ANZ Fiji had signed as a banking partner for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua for the Super Rugby Pacific competition in Suva early this month.

“This partnership supports and provides the services players need to progress and reach their goals,” ANZ Country Head Fiji Rabih Yaz­bek said.

“We get exclusive access to inter­national matches like the Super Rugby competition. We also have a very natural affiliation with play­ers who have gone through the fi­nancial inclusion or money mind­ed training because they have a sad story with the bank.

“The progress from here is using our access to the Fijian Drua for the benefit of our customers and community.

“We’ve been doing our money-minded training with the Flying Fijians for over three years, help­ing them learn the basics of saving and earning their own for their fu­ture.”

Fijian Drua interim chief execu­tive officer Brian Thorburn said: “The partnership is for two years. We are delighted to have the ANZ Banking Group to our Drua spon­sorship Vuvale.

“The Fijian Drua need bank ac­counts and banking facilities, we are now able to open a number of those in both Fiji and Australia.

“We are an entity that has a num­ber of foreign exchange informa­tion receiving pounds from World Rugby, US dollars, NZ dollars, Aus­tralian and Fijian dollars; ANZ is very experienced in substantial exchange expertise – another good example on how we are working together on the banking side.”

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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