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Saveatama picked for N.Z. Rugby Pasifika engagement role

The Samoan former All Black centre Saveatama Eroni Clarke was appointed as New Zealand Rugby’s first ever Pasifika engagement manager this week.

The role will see him work across both community and professional levels of rugby, and a formal welcome with the Pasifika community in New Zealand will be held after the country’s COVID-19 lockdown measures cease.

New Zealand Rugby created the job in part out of their Respect and Responsibility Review in 2017, which identified work to be done in the areas of player welfare and participation.

Saveatama was born in Apia but made his name in rugby playing for Auckland, before his debut for New Zealand in 1992.

He played 10 tests up until 1998, and was a foundation member of the Blues when Super Rugby began in 1996.

His 20-year-old son Caleb Clarke is an emerging star in the Blues current backline, continuing the strong rugby tradition within the Clarke family.

Saveatama’s father Iafeta played for the then-Western Samoa national rugby team that won the South Pacific Games rugby title in 1971.

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