Big risks in rugby’s gold rush

Pacific rugby stars face exploitation

SIRELI Temo grew up like the thousands of Fijian children around the country doing what he loved best – playing rugby from the time he could grasp the oval ball. Since his village primary school days, high school at Laucala Bay Seconday School and Suva Grammar, Temo had his sights on a dream to one day represent his country.

After playing for Nataisiri and the Fiji Warriors, he was snapped up by the Heriot Rugby Club in South Otago in New Zealand before moving to France. Leaving behind his wife and two children, he signed up with Montelimar in south-eastern France. Temo ended up in with Tarbes, a French third-division team , where his rugby career came to a tragic end on November, 2016.

He was just 30. He was found dead in his room, a victim of depression and eventual suicide. 

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