Rugby Union

Former Samoa captain Dan Leo has "big dreams" for Pacific Island rugby

Published Add your comment

Football News

As England get set to take on Fiji this Saturday at a sold out Twickenham, much controversy has surrounded the discrepancy in pay between the two sides, with England players set to pocket £22,000 each compared to Fiji’s players lowly £400 for the game.

The massive difference in pay scale was brought to light after Fiji-born Nathan Hughes pledged his international allegiance to England, citing that part of his decision was financially motivated.

Former Samoa captain Dan Leo made the decision to retire from international rugby in 2015 after voicing his displeasure at the way the Samoan Rugby Union operates, and is now championing a campaign to help maintain the wellbeing of Pacific Island players who now play in England.

The 34-year-old has stated, via the BBC, that he has “big dreams” for Pacific Island rugby and that it is his goal to see a team from the islands lift the World Cup one day, but admits that “a whole lot of steps need to be taken before that becomes a reality.”

The Pacific Island teams in rugby union generally refer to Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, all of which currently sit within the top 15 ranked sides in world rugby.

The Fiji side set to play England on Saturday will have several familiar faces for those who follow Premiership Rugby, with the likes of Campese Ma’afu, Akapusi Qera and Niko Matawalu all set to feature.

Despite the population of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga being only a little over one million combined, it is estimated that 18% of all professional rugby union players globally come from Pacific Island heritage, with 70 plus players in the Premiership alone, six of which are in the England squad.

Leo created the Rugby Players’ Association Cultural Diversity Programme earlier this year which offers advice on a variety of matters to players of Samoan, Tongan or Fijian heritage who ply their trade in the Premiership.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Jonny Wilkinson
England Rugby
Six Nations
Rugby Union
IRB Rugby World Cup
Dan Carter

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport - Rugby Union Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again