5 Rebels the Lions will have to keep an eye on Footballers need to invest wisely for tomorrow, says Makaab
THE Rebels are riding high after their win against the Highlanders last week and pose a big threat to the travelling Lions. Here rugby writer Jacques van der Westhuyzen looks at the five Rebels players who the Lions will have to keep a close eye on in their round six Super Rugby match in Melbourne on Saturday
The 29-year-old inside centre has a wealth of experience, having also played for the Western Force and Gloucester and will have some good memories of playing against the Lions. He scored one of his team’s five tries in last year’s 36-33 thriller at Ellis Park and will be keen to avenge that defeat. A strong runner with good distribution skills, he will look to make the most of a Lions midfield that has yet to settle, or fire, in 2020.
The former rugby league star, and Fiji and Australia international was named Australia’s best player in 2019. Whether in midfield or on the wing, the powerhouse 27-year-old is a dangerous runner in the wide channels and he will ask lots of questions of a brittle and unsettled Lions defence. He, too, scored a try at Ellis Park last year and will be full of confidence taking on the Lions outside backs.
The skilful and experienced flyhalf has been around for some time (having previously played for several seasons for the Brumbies and Leicester Tigers) and is the heartbeat of his team’s back division. With 47 Wallaby caps in the bag there isn’t much the 30-year-old hasn’t experienced. A smart player who varies his game well, he will look to attack the Lions’ No 10 and 12 and will need to be kept in check.
The former Brumbies and Western Force No 8 is a rising star in Australian rugby and is sure to add to the four Wallaby caps he earned last year. Big and strong from the back of the pack, the 25-year-old is a dangerous player in space and is not easily brought to ground. Naisarani is also a big lineout weapon for the Rebels so he is a player the Lions will have to watch closely over the 80 minutes this weekend.
At 23 and standing 1.89m tall and tipping the scales at 116kg, Uelese has a bright future ahead of him, having already run out for the Wallabies on four occasions. Injury has set him back, but he is now fit again and ready to show the kind of form that made him one of the best Under-20 players in the world in 2016-17.
TOP soccer agent Mike Makaab said he will use the World Football Summit Africa platform to instil wise business investments for players to potentially explore after their playing days.
Makaab,who runs ProSport International and is considered the leading agent in Africa, said players need to invest wisely for tomorrow, have professional guidance and prudent financial planning in preparation for life after football.
He said nothing beats financial education, which provides calculated and structured investment for all footballers especially those in Africa.
WFS Africa spoke to him.
How important is it for players to have a good management team?
“I honestly believe it is crucial for all players to be offered a holistic management service, with their management team taking care of all the off-thefield issues (tax, investments, finance, sponsorships, PR, etc.), providing proper career guidance and ensuring a smooth transition for players, from their playing days to ‘life after sport’.”
Players, mostly in Africa revert to living from hand to mouth soon after their playing days; what is the problem and how can this be solved?
“In many instances, players don’t earn enough during their careers to be able to ‘retire’ after football. With others, it is poor financial planning during their playing days and ‘unwise’ investments after their career. The problem can only be solved if the players themselves are serious about their ‘life after sport’ and surround themselves with wise and sincere people, who can steer them in the right direction. Sadly, more often than not, this seldom happens.”
How do you intend to use platforms like WFS Africa, to harmonise and maximise getting a grant from either Caf or Fifa to help ex-players’ causes?
“I think it’s much more than purely looking at a grant. In my opinion, it’s more important to educate players at a young age about the importance of prudent career planning, so that when they do retire they already have a plan in place for post-retirement, whether it be to stay in football in some capacity or to look at options outside of the football industry. Education is the most powerful tool you can give to anyone.”
What message will you deliver to the international audience at the WFS Africa?
“It is my sincere wish that the rest of the world sees the massive potential in calculated and structured investment in football in Africa. This continent has and will continue to produce world-class footballers. Most importantly, that investment should have an element of uplifting communities through projects of true empowerment. We all need to make a difference before we leave this world.”
Summarise football in one sentence.
“Football is the most beautiful game in the world and can only be spoilt by those who have selfish agendas.”