Beaumont in favour of Pacific Islands team
Cape Town - World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont supports calls for a
professional side to be established in the Pacific Islands in a bid to prevent
players from leaving for greener pastures.
“I think we need to find a home for them, certainly,”
Beaumont told Fox Sports.
“They are exports that are rugby players.”
Beaumont made these comments on a brief visit to Australia
from New Zealand, where he is attending the British and Irish Lions' Test
series against the All Blacks.
It is estimated that there are currently 200 Pacific Island
players who are plying their trade in Europe, particularly France, and there
are also plenty of islanders playing in Australia and New Zealand.
The Wallabies had six Fiji-born players in their squad for
during the recent mid-year Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy.
“Well they’re being taken away from home, not necessarily
all to Europe (but) they go away from home,” added Beaumont.
Fiji's former Sevens coach, Ben Ryan, told the BBC last year
that the Pacific Islands had become the “Wild West” and that some agents could
easily lure players away on false promises.
“There are dodgy agents and people on the islands cutting
deals and taking backhanders,” he said.
“There are some terrible agents, mainly the ones that have
been kicked out of Australia and New Zealand.
“They end up trying to get Islanders across, saying how they
helped them. It’s the opposite. I’ve had players left high and dry.
“Where there is un-regulation, you’re going to get cowboys
out there that don’t care and are just looking to make a quick buck.”