Sevu Reece
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Sevu Reece

Sevu Reece
Full nameSevuloni Lasei Reece
Date of birth (1997-02-13) 13 February 1997 (age 23)
Place of birthNadi, Fiji
Height179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight87 kg (192 lb; 13 st 10 lb)
SchoolHamilton Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing, Centre
Current team Crusaders, Tasman
All Black No. 1182
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2016-2018 Waikato 33 (134)
2019- Crusaders 27 (115)
2020- Tasman 3 (15)
Correct as of 17 October 2020
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2017 New Zealand Barbarians 1 (0)
2019- New Zealand 8 (20)
2020 North Island 1 (0)
Correct as of 8 November 2020

Sevuloni Lasei Reece (born 13 February 1997) is a Fiji-born, New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a wing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby and for Tasman in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup.[1] He also plays for the All Blacks internationally.[2]

Early career

Reece was born and raised in Fiji and attended Queen Victoria School. He represented the school in rugby and track and field in the Coke Games. He was a high jumper and a 100m sprinter. He finished 5th in the High Jump in his category in his last year in school with a jump of 1.70m. He also finished 3rd with his 4x100m relay team. Reece moved to New Zealand in 2014 and attended Hamilton Boys' High School where he played first XV rugby. After graduating high school, local Waikato club Melville signed him up on a development contract. In 2016, he finished as the club's top points scorer as they lifted the Breweries Shield for the first time in 35 years.[3]

Professional career

Excellent performances as a centre and outside back for Melville saw him called up to the Waikato squad for the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup. He debuted in a Ranfurly Shield defence against Thames Valley on 6 June 2016 and went on to make 12 Ranfurly Shield and Mitre 10 Cup appearances during the season, scoring 7 tries in the process.[4]

Irish Pro14 club Connacht announced the signing of Reece in May 2018. He was set to join his new team after completing his Waikato commitments in the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup, however, in October 2018 it was announced that Connacht had decided to not go along with the deal in light of a domestic violence case against Reece, in which he pleaded guilty and was discharged without conviction.[5]

In December 2018, Reece was called up to the Crusaders squad as a cover and was later added to the main team after strong performances in the pre-season, but after a career ending injury to Israel Dagg, Reece was brought into the main squad. In March 2019, he made his debut on the right wing against the Chiefs as a cover for Manasa Mataele who was injured the previous week and ruled out for the season. He scored an intercept try as well as winning the Man of the Match.[6] He became a starter on the right wing for the remainder of the season scoring 15 tries and topping the try scoring charts for the 2019 Super Rugby season.

He was named in the North Island squad for the North vs South rugby union match in 2020, starting in the number 14 jersey in a 35-38 loss for the North.

Reece was named in the Tasman Mako squad for the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup making his debut for the Mako in Round 1 against Counties Manukau.[7]

Domestic abuse and controversy

In the early hours of July 1, 2018, a heavily intoxicated Reece got into an argument with his partner of two years in the Hamilton central business district. Reece yelled at his partner to "shut up, in much more colourful language than that", according to the court statement, and chased her down the street, dragging her to the ground. She suffered bruising to the side of her face and waist and bleeding to her knee. [8]

He was subsequently granted a discharge without conviction in order for him to take up a contract in Ireland, by Judge Denise Clark in the Hamilton District Court. Judge Clark accepted that the victim had forgiven Reece, that the couple were undergoing counselling, Reece had admitted a problem with alcohol and had been sober for three months. [8]

Reece expressed remorse and apologised at a restorative justice meeting. [8] Judge Denise Clark imposed a NZ$ 750 fine when a letter from Connacht, confirming the contract offer would be withdrawn if he was convicted, was read in court.

In July 2019, Reece was named in the 39-member All Blacks team to prepare for the upcoming Rugby Championship and the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The fact that he was selected for the national side so shortly after this episode prompted prominent kiwi journalist Chris Rattue to state:"On one hand, you could argue that the All Blacks have selected Sevu Reece with indecent haste, given what emerged in a court case just last year. On the other hand ... well, there isn't another hand to my mind."[9] Reece's selection also drew criticisim from Ang Jury, chief executive of New Zealand NGO Women's Refuge. "There are just so many things wrong here that the rugby union really need to look at their selection processes. I am really sick of this, it is an ongoing issue that the rugby union need to get a grip on (...) I'm disappointed that the rugby union has gone down this road yet again."[9] Other media outlets like The Telegraph also labeled the call-up as "hasty" [10]

Then All Blacks coach Steve Hansen defended Reece's selection, saying that he deserved a chance to "better himself". Hansen said Reece made a bad mistake, but has been through the 'right process' and in future has the potential to be a leader in New Zealand's struggles with domestic violence. He said: "You've got to remove him out of it and say, look there's been a domestic violence incident, do we agree with it? No we don't. Does the New Zealand Rugby Union? No they don't. Do the Crusaders? No, they don't. But, it's a big part of our society unfortunately. So rugby is going to have people within its community that are involved in this."

"And having been a policeman, I've seen plenty of it. And I know it's not just restricted to males assaulting women, women assault males too. It's not a gender thing, it's a New Zealand problem (...) when you look at this particular case, rather than asking the question 'why has rugby brought Sev in and looked after him?', the question I'd ask is 'what would happen if we didn't?'"

"He's been actively trying to better himself and also, when he comes into our environment we already have a policy that better people make better All Blacks so we continue that with each and every individual we've got (...) We all make mistakes. But I don't think it's fair to then turn around and say 'why are we picking this guy, he's not a role model? Because if we don't support these kids, and surround them with the right support, learnings and love, then they're going to continue doing what they're doing - and there will be more victims."

"I have no problem selecting Sevu Reece because I know he's been through a process that has been very challenging for him. I know the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Crusaders have great systems in place for that, the justice system has dealt with him. And I'm seeing, everyday, a kid go out and play good rugby. So not only is he doing the job off the field, with his support, he's also doing the job on the field. So why wouldn't we pick him? Why wouldn't we try to get a young man who's made a mistake to see the error in his ways? And then get him to use that knowledge, and improvement in himself, to help others."[11]

Hansen was criticized by Jury after saying that domestic violence was "not a gender thing". She said "He's referring to ideas that are old, debunked, based on his experience as a police officer some 20-odd years ago. It's a gendered problem that New Zealand has. There is no statistic available that demonstrates anything other than that. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that women can't be violent... of course they can. But we know that women are hurt more often, they're hurt more seriously and they fear their partners more than men do."[12]

According to The Independent and The Guardian, "New Zealand has one of the developed world's highest rates of domestic violence - with a UN report finding the country has one of the worst records of family violence in the world. Most recent data from 2016 shows that of all protection orders 89 per cent were made by women. Between 2009 and 2015, there were 92 intimate partner deaths. In 98 per cent of these deaths where there was a recorded history of abuse, women were the victim, abused by their male partner. Authorities say about a third of women in the country experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetimes and 76 per cent of incidents are not reported to police."[12][13]

Hansen's comments were also argued against by The Spinoff's Josie Adams. She wrote: "Hansen is right to say domestic violence is a New Zealand problem. But not a 'gender thing'? The violence is not uniformly male, but it mostly is. The starkest statistic? Seventy six per cent of intimate partner violence related deaths are perpetrated by men. This New Zealand problem is a New Zealand men problem." [14]

More thorough statistics about domestic violence in New Zealand can be consulted at NGO It's Not OK website.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Sevu Reece". crusaders.co.nz. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Sevu Reece". allblacks.com. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Sevu Reece soars to Waikato's wing as dizzying rise through the ranks continues". Rugby Heaven. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Sevu Reece itsrugby Player Statistics". it's rugby. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Connacht Rugby announce signing of Sevu Reece from Waikato". Connacht Rugby. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Super Rugby: Crusaders new strike weapon Sevu Reece 'incredible' on debut
  7. ^ "Sevu Reece". Mako.nz. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Young rugby player discharged over domestic violence incident". NZ Herald. 1 October 2018. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Sevu Reece goes from domestic violence incident and having Connacht contract cancelled to All Blacks jersey". independent. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Coles, Ben (3 July 2019). "Sevu Reece - from domestic violence incident to an All Blacks call-up as Fiji miss out on another talent". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "All Blacks coach Steve Hansen delivers strong defence of Sevu Reece selection". NZ Herald. 5 July 2019. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ a b "All Blacks coach Steve Hansen sparks criticism by claiming domestic violence 'not a gender thing'". The Independent. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ Anderson, Charles (8 July 2019). "All Blacks coach criticised for saying domestic violence 'not a gender thing'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "The problem with Steve Hansen's 'not a gender thing' comments". The Spinoff. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ It's Not OK, info@areyouok org nz. "Statistics". It's Not OK. Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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