November 13, 2012
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Boivert suggests IRB calendar re-look

Fiji Rugby Union coaching director Frank Boivert said the International Rugby Board holds the key to ensure players are not put in a tight spot when it comes to choosing between club and country.

Boivert said the IRB needs to revise their calendar of events to mirror that of their soccer counterparts, FIFA.

“The main issue being the fact that professional club rugby is played on the same days as international games as opposed to soccer where you have all club games suspended when you have international games,” Boivert said.

“The unions are not keen in hurting players’ chances to secure and keep their contracts.

“The solution is very simple for the IRB, stop all pro games during international window and compensate the minor union players for their loss of income during international windows.”

Boivert’s comments come in the wake of claims by former Racing Metro coach that three Fijian players were paid not to play for Fiji during the RWC2011.

And the most recent case involving the French Top 14 club as well saw Jone Qovu banned till next month for withdrawing from the Flying Fijians November Tour because of an “injury”.

“I am not sure if you can cal it bribes, but definitely incentives,” Boivert said.

“Also clubs do regularly pressure the players when it is time to resign contracts by asking them to stay with the club instead of going for national duties.

“There are also players who don’t want to lose their bonuses when they stay with club.”

Boivert said lately pro clubs have become ruthless in their dealings.

“By the way contracts are structured, players lose their monthly bonuses, like practice attendance bonuses for instance, if they go away.”

Former Racing Metro coach and former All Black as well, Simon Mannix in a media report last week claimed that Sireli Bobo, Jone Qovu and Josh Matavesi – were paid to make themselves unavailable in order to play in the French Top 14.

By Lavenia Vuadreu

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