The Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union is warning talented teens not to rush into signing professional contracts.
Ratu Kadavulevu School, based in Lodoni on Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, won the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament in Japan at the weekend.
Players from the national under 17 champions are expected to be of great interest to professional teams.
Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union president Setareki Merekula said young players were regularly approached by overseas clubs but it was important not to make any hasty decisions.
“Unfortunately some went and because they did not understand the contract well, towards the end of the contract (it ended badly) so we feel sorry for the boy, we feel sorry for the experience,” he said.
“So what we’re doing at the moment is if we’re able to identify some that have been given an offer we advise whoever the parent is and manager and team coach if we could help them discuss the contract before they get engaged.”
The Fiji Under 18 team struggled in Australia and New Zealand last year but the success of Ratu Kadavulevu School on the world stage had reassured the union development pathways in Fiji were working, Mr Merekula said.
“We were really concerned because what was happening in the national (level) did not show up in the international arena (but) what the Ratu Kadavulevu boys have shown is that we’re on the right track now,” he said.
“We are somehow doing the right thing because what happened in the national competition maintained in the international arena.”