Rugby development begins at the grassroots level

Litia Naiqato of Fiji Airways Fijiana team in heavy traffic against Australia during the 2018 Oceania Rugby Championship semi final at ANZ Stadium over the weekend, Picture: RAMA

THE most renowned name in the 7s game, Sir Gordon Tietjens believes all rugby development for both men and women begin at the grassroots level.

“Schools are the best place to begin developing rugby players,” Sir Tietjens said.

He believes that at the young stage, children are more akin to naturally learn the sport which doesn’t come hard to players from the Pacific.

“There is no island in the Pacific that doesn’t know how to play rugby or 7s.

“There is a lot of untouched raw talents, but the talents go nowhere if the needed guidance is not provided.”

Sir Tietjens says with more programs to be introduced in the grassroots level programs for girls, more exposure is needed for schools that have women rugby teams.

“They should be exposed more and sent overseas more to countries such as New Zealand and Australia where they can play other schools and develop networks with those schools that have become powerhouses in the men and women’s grades.

“For Fiji, the rugby pool overflows, there is immense talent and it just needs to be harnessed.”

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