Bai calls for rugby players to be monitored after Deans trophy

THERE is a gap in the transition of players from secondary schools to national level competitions, says former Flying Fijian Seremaia Bai.

The Rugby Academy Fiji founder and director Seremai Bai said many talented Fiji secondary schools rugby players never made it to national level.

“It’s amazing to see a huge amount of talent on show during the Fiji Secondary Schools Deans trophy competition and then a few years later you are trying to figure out where all these talent went to,” Bai said.

He said Fiji had an abundance of talent, but the challenge laid in the development, nurturing and guiding of those talent.

“It’s a matter of keeping the balance and keeping track of these players and pathways of their development,” Bai said.

He added a lot of quality secondary schools rugby players were lost because of lack of pathways and development programs.

“Research has shown that there is a huge gap not from the under-20 rugby level, but from the Deans level to the national level. We can see a lot of good and potential players from the Deans competitions that have the material to play in the Fiji side. Then after a few years they are gone.

“For me, the question to ask is what is after Deans for these boys?.

“I think the mentality in Fiji is that if we win the Deans then that’s it.

“If you see players in the national side, probably majority of them didn’t play Deans, they didn’t come through Deans nor did they win the Deans trophy.”

He said a lot of talent had been lost because of this gap and stakeholders should do something about it.

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