Fiji official stumbles into his own trap

Fiji’s zero-tolerance stance on alcohol has been dealt an embarrassing blow by news that Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) official Peter Murphy has been charged with drink-driving.

The IRB-contracted Australian, currently earning his crust as Fiji’s high performance manager, spent a night in a police cell on Friday after being found behind the wheel and over the limit.

After Murphy emerged from behind bars he promptly issued a code of conduct to Fiji’s Rugby World Cup squad.

The players’ consumption of alcohol would be closely controlled, he said, and their social activities will be restricted to ensure they remained focused on the tournament.

He went on to explain that kava, Fiji’s tipple of choice, would only be permitted during official sevusevu functions.

“If there is an after-match function we can let the players have a few beers,” he said on Wednesday.

“Otherwise, when we have a team day out we could have a few beers but that will be it.”

News of Murphy’s brush with police moved Nadi Rugby Union secretary Samu Kailawadoko to tell the Fiji Times it was a “personal matter for the court to deal with”.

But he did concede that “the idea is to walk the talk”.

Suva Rugby Union president Vilikesa Rauca said the FRU needed to “put its foot down and monitor the officials and players of the Flying Fijians.

“The matter is for the court to decide but those at the FRU must take caution especially when the Rugby World Cup is just around the corner,” he told the newspaper.

“No one is stopping anyone from having a few drinks because we’re all adults but as for the Flying Fijians and their officials, they’re public figures and every move they make it is noted by the fans and children.”

The FRU and Murphy have declined to comment.


365 Digital

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