Pro rugby contracts on offer to Pacific youth

first_imgThe five day training camp which concludes today in Fiji comprised 30 under 23-year-olds from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, who played in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge.The association’s Aayden Clark said the combine taught players how to deal with contracts, agents and life as an overseas based professional.He said the association is advising the players about the contracts on offer.”There’s some good ones too. Fantastic opportunities for the players. Thats the process that we are working through now as they show interest and also the next week or two will be critical for that,” said Aayden Clark.”It is not just a financial decision for the players. It is a whole raft of factors around whether its going to be the opportunity that they should take or not.”Mr Clark said young players from the Pacific often take overseas contracts without doing their due diligence.”At the moment we spend a lot of time and resource supporting players who have done that and found themselves in a bit of a sticky situation,” said Mr Clark.”There is a long list of things that can happen in an environment where a player feels a bit isolated, gets injured or is just lacking the usual support that they have from their family,” he said.”We have young players who leave overseas on a promise that they got on Facebook messenger with nothing really solid around what is going to be happening once they arrive in a differrent part of the world, so that is a big concern for us”.”This is the opportunity for us to try and prevent having to put in the intensive work later on down the track.”World Rugby in partnership with the Pacific Rugby Players Association are running the combine its general manager Peter Horn says the selected players have been identified by overseas rugby unions and clubs.”We are helping them connect with those clubs and World Rugby is providing a relocation package which supports the player to engage with the club and a relocation allowance to support them to have a soft landing,” Mr Horn said.”So one key thing that we are worried about is ensure that a player from a Pacific Island heritage integrates really well in the right club the right environment,” he said.”They can then actually develop as a rugby player, go on to higher honours in the future, potentially playing for the national program again and going to the world cup.”Peter Horn said the combine model has been borrowed from professional sporting codes in America.last_img read more