Ni sa bula maleka! Rugby has been a huge part of my life. I have been truly blessed with the opportunities given to me for almost 12 years as a professional rugby player, and had the honour of playing with and against some of the top rugby players in the world. Representing Fiji in 36 occasions (including 27 caps) and two Rugby World Cup (1999 & 2003) was no doubt the highlights of my career.
I was a young boy raised in a village, with poor access to formal schooling, without prior earning and saving experiences, any rugby offer that illustrated ‘thousands’ of dollars as a salary was perceived as a ‘blessing’, and signed almost immediately without clear consideration or advice as to the cost of living in the host country, taxation, budgeting and other financial and contractual conditions that would impact on our financial well-being in the longer term.
My interest in financial literacy began several years ago during my career as a professional rugby player. It was during these years that my peers and I struggled to understand our earnings and/or make financial decisions about our earnings which would then support ourselves and our families and communities in the longer term.
In my experience throughout these years, I noticed there were very few professional players who had been able to financially plan with success for life after rugby, setting themselves up for future growth and development.
As we all know, the opportunity to earn good money from playing rugby has a very short time span. There needs to be clear consideration in planning for your career, and equipping yourself with safety nets that will minimise the negative impact of a professional rugby career. Moreover, as a Fijian and a Pacific Islander, the majority of us are very well accustomed to a subsistence lifestyle, or subsistence living. As you enter the professional world of rugby, you are transiting into a modern monetised lifestyle. The new environment will bring forth its opportunities and challenges.
Navuso District School, Naitasiri
Ratu Sukuna Memorial School
Ratu Kadavulevu School
Diploma in Travel & Tourism, Auckland Institute of Studies Graduated with an Executive MBA, Massey University, New Zealand
Rugby Union Career
Rugby World Cup 1999 and 2003
Fiji Rugby Union
Fiji Rugby National Team 36 games, 27 Caps
Position: No. 8, Flanker, Centre
North Shore (New Zealand)
Bordeaux Bègles (French)
Yamaha Jubilo (Japan)
Manawatu (New Zealand)
Manawatu Club Rugby (Feilding Yellows, Freyberg
Old Boys, Kia Toa and Varsity RFC)
Manawatu U18 and U20
Manawatu Junior Rugby
Director (own company) – Vunilagi Pasifika Ltd (Sports Management, Coaching & Development)
Assistant Accommodation Manager, Massey University, NZ
Managing Director- Red Stream Investments Ltd