I imagine Willy was a born and bred Caledonian of Wallisien decent?shereblue wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:53 pmKeeping it vaguely topical, yesterday's French lock Romain Taofifenua was born in France to a French father, Willy Taofifenua (of FC Grenoble and managing Pro 2 Limoges), a native of Wallis & Futuna, a French PI Territory.message #2527204 wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:55 pmThere will still be moaning. The French clubs currently have large incentives from the FFR to raid Fijian talent before they even enter the Fijian system. Won;t be long before some of those clubs start setting up 'training programmes' in NZ too.shereblue wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:26 pmMe neither. He'd have won Gold had he made the Fiji team. No criticism, but there is a more pressing Gold to aspire to when living in a relatively poor country. A very talented young man of ambition. A bit like the pursuit of the American Dream in rugby terms.message #2527204 wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:36 pmHe'd have been tied to Fiji by playing U20. Switching to sevens was a way to get untied before the Olympics... not sure if that still works.shereblue wrote: ↑Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:21 pm
Born near Christchurch but Fijian and returned to Fiji as a young child. Now translating for Finn Russell.
Did play a game or 2 for Fiji U 19s.
Was spotted by Sireli Bobi, Fijian international at Racing Metro, and accepted in minutes his countryman's invitation to come to France.
It's the money for sure but it was his chosen path. He had to take his exam to become French twice. For good measure he contracted to play 7s for France ahead, of lucrative Top14 offers.
Powerful but no bosh merchant and perfectly suited to being a bleu. MOM today
I find ready-made, slightly sub par poaches more depressing but the consequences of economic inequality for fans of Fijian and PI rugby are also harsh. The 5 year residency requirement seems better.
Willy was instrumental in setting up a French Academy in New Caledonia for 2 dozen or so promising Islanders (inc. a few women), giving them an education as well as pro coaching on a weekly boarding basis aged 18-21. The aim being to better equip them to cope with any eventual success or failure in pro rugby. Caucau having been one of the most prominent but troubled on field successes who left the game with nothing.
Don't know much about the FFR / Top 14 Fiji links. It would be simple capitalist exploitation linked to globalisation. A just outcome would be to see more trickle down to the PI rugby players and clubs themselves - at all levels. I gather the Fijian President additionally contributes to the problem. After some of the turgid rugby this weekend, I'd love to have seen Fiji and a properly rewarded Fiji would have been even better.
Swindon Town is my footballing peccadillo and I lament the trawler-like hoovering of every conceivably promising youngster by Premiership clubs within the UK, never mind overseas. C'est la vie.
https://www.rugbyworld.com/in-the-mag/p ... rt-93780/3This was 2018 wrote:Forty teenagers are gathered outside a Fiji Rugby Union gym in Sigatoka, ready for a weights session. They are part of the Nadroga Academy. Later they will walk across to the senior team’s pitch to carry the province’s one scrum machine to their training area for a few drills. Their navy shirts feature the province’s stallion logo and that of Clermont Auvergne.
In 2014 (Ithink it was) Fiji schoolboys beat New Zealan schoolboys ... all of the Fijian lads had contracts the following day by accounts.
Of course you're correct that the money the lads earn will go back to Fiji in the main. But it's not good for test rugby.