James Nokise remembers the glory days of the Samoan team from the 1990s as a kid wrapped in a rug watching his heroes on the TV.
Almost three decades after rugby turned professional, he sits down with the former All Black great, Sir Tuifa’asisina Bryan Williams.
As coach of Manu Samoa through the ‘90s and current patron of Moana Pasifika, the first professional team run by Pasifika for Pasifika, Sir Bryan understands the challenges Pacific players face.
‘’The powers that be decided there was no place for Pasifika in Super Rugby, which at the time for me and a number of others was absolutely galling – a great sense of disappointment, a great sense of grievance…’’
One of the first Pasifika All Blacks, Sir Bryan went on to be President of New Zealand Rugby and he has a deep experience of how the system works:
‘’It's not a fair game now. Because it's obvious that certainly the island nations haven't got enough money.’’
We also talk politics of rugby with World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont and NZRPA chief Rob Nichol.
And Ikale Tahi centre, Fine Inisi and Professor Lisa Uperesa discuss the way the powerful protect their own interests in the sporting world and how that impacts players and the game.
Available from February 9th on Apple podcasts, iHeart, Spotify, PMN and at RNZ.co.nz.
Fair Game: Pacific Rugby Against the World is made with the support of New Zealand on Air.
Written and produced by James Nokise, Talei Anderson and John Daniell for Bird of Paradise Productions, Radio New Zealand and Pacific Media Network
Language programme director - Matt Tufuga
Executive producers for RNZ - Justin Gregory, Katy Gosset and Tim Watkin
Sound engineers - Rangi Powick, Alex Harmer and Jeremy Ansell for RNZ, Harrison Edwards at PMN
Music and sound design - Anonymouz (Faiumu Matthew Salapu)
Visuals: Manatoa Productions, Anonymouz and Krista Barnaby (RNZ)
Additional reporting by Lice Movono
Additional sound recorded by Rudy Bartley at WT Media in Samoa
Special thanks to Don Mann, Lui Vilisoni, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Jodhi Hoani, Josie Campbell,
Elijah Fa’afiu and Inangaro Vakaafi
RNZ Commissioning - Jodhi Hoani, Tim Burnell
RNZ Acting Head of Content - Veronica Schmidt
RNZ Interim Chief Content Officer - Megan Whelan