As Super Rugby makes a comeback in New Zealand this weekend some of the big names in the sport have pledged their allegiance to help make a positive change for Pacific rugby.

All Blacks stars Ardie Savea and Ngani
Laumape and former All Black Jerome Kaino are some of the names that
have taken to social media to announce they’re proud to be board members
of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW), an independent not for
profit organisation that supports professional and semi-professional
players of Pacific Islands heritage to enable their ongoing success both
on and off the field.

PRPW chief executive and founder Dan Leo welcomed the new revitalised board and looked forward to the experience and passion these brave men will bring for the good of Pacific Island rugby’s future.

Established in 2016, PRPW’s focus has
predominantly been on Pacific players in UK and Europe, but Pasifika
representation is ever increasing outside of rugby’s traditional
heartlands.

“There will be
similarities, but rugby’s growth in places like America and Spain which
are the fastest growing markets for Pacific players, on top of
challenges like Covid-19 means we are having to adapt quickly,” Leo
said.

He added the modern demands of the game is changing rapidly and so are the needs of Pacific players.

“It would be naive to
think that today’s P.I player’s concerns and struggles are exactly the
same as those myself and other more senior board members had, even four
or five years ago,” he added.

Adding to the list are
former All Blacks Anthony Tuitavake, Seta Tamanivalu, Fiji’s Jim Nagusa,
Josh Matavesi & Ilikena Bolakoro, USA’s Shalom Suniula & Andrew
Duratalo, as well as Tonga’s Nasi Manu.

The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare organisation has become the first Players Association in the world to have representatives in every major rugby competition.

TVNZ

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