Damon Salesa, an associate professor of Pacific Studies at Auckland University, said rugby should have more Pacific people involved in its decision-making.Fifty years ago there were 56,000 people described as Pacific living in New Zealand but by 2013 that figure had increased to almost 300,000.In Auckland, more than one in four babies is Pasifika.During the recent Rugby League World Cup, two Pacific nations, Tonga and Fiji, made the semi-finals, while the Kiwis missed out.Damon Salesa said better decisions would be made by sports bodies if they had the input of Pacific people.”If there were Pacific people on the New Zealand Rugby Union, do you think they’d make the same decisions for instance, to admit a Japanese team to the Super 15 and not a Pacific team, to admit Argentina and not a Pacific team to the rugby championship.”They would actually make different decisions, and I think they would be better decisions.”Last month, about 1000 Tongan league fans marched down Queen Street in Auckland after fans said a decision by the referee during the Rugby League World Cup semi-final against England robbed Tonga of the win. While an online petition calling for a review of the same decision to disallow a late try to Tongan player Andrew Fifita gathered more than 50,000 signatures.Mr Salesa said the Tongans’ ability and power to organise a major parade through Auckland should make people wake up to the potential of these communities.”In order to organise the Christmas parade in Auckland you spend months and probably get sponsored by AT to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tongans organised almost as bigger parade in Auckland in a few hours on social media.”Mr Salesa said he found it moving that many players opted to play for their countries of heritage.He said former Kiwis forward Jason Taumalolo was called a ‘traitor’ and a ‘turncoat’ when he played for Tonga rather than New Zealand.He said New Zealand rugby and league has been built on the assumption that the team of choice will always be Australia or New Zealand, even for those Pacific players who only have fleeting relationships with these countries.”These guys showed that actually no, the place they were dreaming of playing for was Tonga and actually what we’ve seen is going to pose a real threat to the global rugby codes because now a whole lot of players look at what Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita did and their only regret is they didn’t do it too.”Mr Salesa said it raises questions of eligibility for rugby and league as sport is one of the last places where you have to choose between nations.He said it was possible to have a Samoan and Tongan passport, or a Samoan and a New Zealand passport but it was only possible to play for one rugby team now due to the eligibility rules, particularly in rugby union.
MOST READ “I need my teammates to step up. I pass the ball to them but they have to finish. (Lervin) Flores, I think, has been inconsistent. I can’t do it on my own,” he said.Arellano seeks to snap out of its funk on Friday against St. Benilde. With Arellano’s defense focused heavily on CJ Perez, Salado shared that he didn’t expect the Marcelino twins, Jaycee and Jayvee, to make life hard for him in the 30 minutes he played on the court.“We stopped Perez in the first quarter, but what killed us are the Marcelinos. They weren’t part of our scouting report,” he said. “Wherever I went, they were there. I didn’t even know who was the one guarding me. They’re really good defenders.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’With the Marcelino brothers taking turns shadowing him, Salado was limited to his lowest output of the season of 11 markers, seven rebounds, and four assists, an evident dip from his averages of 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in the Chiefs’ first three games.The Cagayan de Oro native, though, challenged his teammates to pick up the slack as the Chiefs hope to end their roller coaster ride in the first four games of the season. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next San Beda racks up 3rd straight, clips Letran View comments Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Kent Salado. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netKent Salado admitted that Lyceum caught Arellano off guard when the two teams played on Tuesday.“We were surprised,” the speedy playmaker said in Filipino after the Chiefs fell to the Pirates, 99-65. “Lyceum isn’t that big, but they are really hustling hard and that led to us committing a lot of turnovers.”ADVERTISEMENT McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube