FOLLOWING TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT NETANI TALEI WILL RETIRE FROM THE GAME, THE FIJIAN BACK-ROW FORWARD HAS WRITTEN THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST.
“On April 7th my mind was put to rest knowing that I had tried everything I possibly could to get back on the rugby field. Unfortunately my time playing the sport that I’m passionate about has to come to an end.
After 17 months out of the game, spending most of my time rehabbing and constantly getting fluid drained out of my knee, a medical consultant confirmed that retirement was the best decision for me.
I had to come to terms with the fact that 17 months of being depressed, stressed and unhappy had driven me away from people that cared about me, and from the things that made me happy.
I would like to personally thank Harlequins for their patience in the last 17 months during my physical, mental and spiritual rehab.
A big vinaka vakalevu [Thank you] to the medical staff for monitoring my day to day rehab and training; the management whose efforts and help will never be forgotten, and to Elliot Clarke who was personally designated to my recovery. Words cannot describe all the effort and dedication that was put in, so thank you.
Now that the final whistle in my rugby carrier has been blown, an exciting challenge in my life arises.
With all the experience and knowledge of being a professional athlete for the last 13 years, it’s time to put it to good use.
Having played 45 times for Fiji (38 Test caps) in 7s and 15s, playing in three Rugby World Cups and over 200 professional club games, and with qualifications in rugby coaching and personal training, I am and heading into strength and conditioning pathway.
I will be dedicating these next years to help people achieve their fitness and sporting goals. This is something I’m really passionate about.
I’ve started to run fitness Bootcamps and one to one rugby skills coaching. I am grateful to Phil Greening at the Athlete Factory for helping me in this career transition.
Rugby has made me the person I am today. I am forever grateful and I will cherish every moment of it.