19 Jun 2014

Sport: Pacific Players Association spreading message to next generation

10:53 am on 19 June 2014

The Pacific Islands Players Association have been speaking to the next generation of Pacific rugby stars about the trials and tribulations of the professional game.

The Association was formed in 2012 as a way for Pacific players to present a united voice on issues such as player contracts, agents, international scheduling and availability.

Former Flying Fijians captain Deacon Manu and Manu Samoa midfielder Seilala Mapusua spoke to their respective Under 20s teams at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

Manu says it was a good chance to offer some guidance and advice.

"A lot of it's about education and that's a general thing we are pushing for right throughout academy levels right through to professionals. Just like anyone else they've been exposed to some things such as professional sport pretty early on. We've already had agents circling Pacific Island teams trying to sign these guys up and one of the things we talked about was agents and their role in the game and their role as players, and just trying to guide them in terms of what they need to look out for in agents."

Deacon Manu has just finished eight years at Welsh club Llanelli, and is next week starting a coaching role at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, which despite the name also has a rugby team.