Remove Sevu Reece from the 2019 All Blacks squad

Remove Sevu Reece from the 2019 All Blacks squad

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Hannah Rose started this petition to NZRU and

Sevu Reece has been named in the 2019 All Blacks squad.

According to court documents, Reece got into an argument with his partner of two years in the Hamilton central business district last July.

Reece yelled expletives at her, while chasing her down the street, then dragged her to the ground.  She suffered bruising to the side of her face and waist, and bleeding to her knee.

Despite pleading guilty to common assault, Reece was discharged without conviction, because the judge felt that would have had serious implications on the Fijian-born’s rugby career.

His contract with Irish club Connacht was torn up and when you look at the circumstances surrounding the case, it's hard not to argue with that decision.  

Reece expressed remorse for his actions and has certainly gone about things in the right way since.

Joining the Crusaders was the biggest break of his young career - the franchise is synonymous with nurturing and moulding brilliant rugby players.

Crusaders management has lauded Reece's commitment to change and his tremendous work ethic, as he looks to rebuild his career and, for that matter, his reputation.

And that has to be respected.

But no matter the rehabilitation, no matter the rugby exploits and no matter the need of the All Blacks selectors, Reece should not be rewarded with national honours in the same 12-month period all this came to light.

Former All Black lock Ian Jones recently told Trackside Radio that the All Blacks ethos and Reece's violent outburst didn't sit well together.

'Kamo' noted that another year staying out of trouble would benefit Reece and prove he is worthy to wear the black jersey.

The bottom line is, without the Crusaders lifeline, Reece's career would be in limbo - no Super Rugby deal, blacklisted by European clubs, sitting on the sidelines until the Mitre 10 Cup.

This just isn't the right time for Reece to be elevated to rugby's global stage. He would become a distraction rather than a revelation.

The foreign press would have a field day, posing daily questions to coach Steve Hansen and co about the merits of selecting a young player with a violent past.

And he must prove to New Zealand Rugby, the Crusaders, to himself and to people like me that he won't offend again.

As anyone who has ever witnessed domestic violence first-hand will tell you, it's simply horrific and apologies are often a stop-gap until next time.

The All Blacks are New Zealand. It's a 'brand' we, as Kiwis, identify with and are unbelievably passionate about.

Sevu Reece's future may lie in a black jersey - just not now. Not this year.

 

Source:  

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