Lui highlights cash deficit for Pacific nations

St George-Illawarra forward Dunamis Lui has backed Semi Radradra‘s decision to choose to play Test rugby for Australia rather than his home country of Fiji.

But the Samoan international has also insisted that there must be greater financial rewards for players who opt to represent Pacific nations, otherwise the international game with atrophy once more.

“I saw the letter that his old man wrote and after reading that I really respect his decision,” Lui said, according to the Illawarra Mercury.

“It’s a personal decision to represent either Australia or any Pacific nation and you’ve got to respect that. For me personally I’d rather just represent my parents heritage.

“It’s not about money but I think it’s a bit unfair that we’re not getting as much as other countries. We’re not even close.”

The cash issue is one which Brisbane-born Lui believes may come to haunt the international game to its detriment in the years to come.

“At the end of the [2014] Four Nations I got a thousand dollars for the whole four weeks and Australia got 50 or 60 [thousand] or something like that.

“At the moment I know that everyone who is playing for Samoa is doing it for pride and doing it for their families.

“It is a little bit unfair that we don’t get paid as much but at the end of the day we just want to represent our country and do the jersey proud.

“The thought was there. Obviously growing up in Queensland you always want to represent Queensland but things change.

“As I got older I realised I wanted to represent Samoa and that was the jersey that meant the most to me.

“I was born [in Brisbane] but my parents and most of my brothers and sisters were born overseas. I’d rather represent my parents heritage and do them proud.”

 

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