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Life after rugby

Emoni Narawa
Thursday, January 02, 2014

LIVING a fruitful life after a rugby career is just as important as playing the sport.

This is the view of Fijian rugby icon and former national rep Waisale Serevi.

The sevens magician, who is one of the co-partners of the Serevi Rugby brand which was founded by Chris and Julie Prentice, and Semi Lotawa, and with the help of Pate Tuilevuka, is a living testimony of a successful rugby player making it big after hanging up his boots. While most rugby players idolise Serevi for his uncanny skills on the field, the former national sevens skipper challenged players to follow his life skills after mesmerising the rugby world. He said players should be mindful of their lives after rugby while still in their prime.

"This is just my message to rugby players, think of what you will be doing next, after rugby," the sevens maestro told Times Sport during a visit to the country late last year.

Serevi said he was thankful he suffered no major injuries during his 21 years as a player.

He established himself as the king of the abbreviated code, becoming the first Fijian to be inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.

"Rugby is a career that can finish tomorrow because of injuries," he said.

"I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to play rugby for 21 years with not a lot of injuries and with the opportunity of Chris and Julie, I was able to establish this life."

Serevi rugby program co-ordinator Tuilevuka, who plays his rugby in the US, shared similar sentiments, saying players should utilise their fame to establish a web of contacts.

"I believe players should step out from being shy all the time and challenge things that are uncomfortable in their lives.

"Build contacts on and off the field while you're at the peak of your career. While you still have the support of the nation and fame as a rugby player, remember your life after rugby.

"Serevi used to say that he was not very smart academically but he had rugby talent. He went around and established that web of contact which was useful after his rugby career."

Tuilevuka said a rugby career was like a business.

"You can use the same principles of how you look after your body while planning for life off the field and find ways to invest into your life after rugby," he added.

Serevi said he was thankful he suffered no major injuries during his 21 years as a player.

He established himself as the king of the abbreviated code, becoming the first Fijian to be inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.

"Rugby is a career that can finish tomorrow because of injuries," he said.

"I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to play rugby for 21 years with not a lot of injuries and with the opportunity of Chris and Julie, I was able to establish this life."

Serevi rugby program co-ordinator Tuilevuka, who plays his rugby in the US, shared similar sentiments, saying players should utilise their fame to establish a web of contacts.

"I believe players should step out from being shy all the time and challenge things that are uncomfortable in their lives.

"Build contacts on and off the field while you're at the peak of your career. While you still have the support of the nation and fame as a rugby player, remember your life after rugby.

"Serevi used to say that he was not very smart academically but he had rugby talent. He went around and established that web of contact which was useful after his rugby career."

Tuilevuka said a rugby career was like a business.

"You can use the same principles of how you look after your body while planning for life off the field and find ways to invest into your life after rugby," he added.