Pasifika Rugby Players

All Black great believes NRL has the best model for Pasifika talent

Discussing the issue on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown, former All Black great John Kirwan highlighted the central contracting system in New Zealand creates a disincentive for Pacific Island players from representing their home nations.

He compared New Zealand Rugby’s [NZR] contracting system to that of the NRL, which has removed conflict of interest from the equation with a separation of club and national control.

Kirwan suggested that if Super Rugby clubs could fund the majority of a player’s wages, they may be in a position to represent their home nation, such as Tonga.

How to deal with pushy player agents

Former NRL and Super Rugby player Tupou Sopoaga last month tweeted that two Pasifika players in his club rugby team, who had just come off the back of playing in the Super Rugby Aotearoa Under  20s competition, were feeling stressed after agents had approached them and pressured them to sign on the dotted line. 

He said players were excited to have the "world at their feet" but, at the same time, were unsure about how to navigate their careers.