Naevo raises rugby safety

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Fiji Rugby Union HQ in Suva. Picture: TIMOCI VULA/FT FILE

The mother of the late Pasikali Naevo, Jessica Naevo, is adamant on spreading awareness on the safety of young rugby players around Fiji to prevent further incidents as such from occurring.

Pasikali passed away on February 26 after collapsing during a training session with the national under-20 side in Nadi.

He played as a forward for the Fiji under-20 side, and he was the son of former Flying Fijian Apenisa Naevo.

According to Mrs Naevo, they are still yet to receive a report from the Fiji Rugby Union regarding the passing of Pasikali.

“We are still very interested to know who and how many players were interviewed there that day. One of the players who had given their statement had told us that Pasikali had wanted to go home that day after their third training session since he wasn’t feeling very well,” she claimed.

Mrs Naevo also expressed her concern for players who were present during the same training session that day, who had later found their team mate had passed away.

“Players will be traumatised as it would have affected the boys’ mentally which means they would need counselling.

“My concern here would be the player welfare, and just being proactive, as this is something that needs to be looked at seriously.

“If our players continue to put Fiji on the global market, it’s only fair that we are treating our players with respect and looking after them wholeheartedly and not just using them.”

Mrs Naevo says she and her family feel as if they are being left in the dark, receiving no response from FRU on updates regarding reports on Pasikali’s passing.

“We are being left in the dark when requesting feedback on the report of findings because if that’s the case, we can always ask for an independent investigation via our player welfare lawyers.

“By bringing light in some of these areas, it would help Fiji Rugby move forward to ensure that this never happens again and that they are more proactive in checking on processes and guidelines to follow in line with World Rugby standards.”

Questions sent to FRU chairman Humphrey Tawake remain unanswered.

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