Wing Rupeni Caucaunibuca was labeled “a disgrace” by Fijian teammate Sireli Bobo for walking out on a club contract in France to enter negotiations with England’s Leicester, the Fiji Times reported.
Caucaunibuca had been signed to play beside Bobo and fellow Fijians Simon Raiwalui, Jone Qovu and Julian Vulakoro for the Paris-based club Metro Racing but, after agreeing to a two-year contract, chose instead to play in England, the Times said.
Rugby 365 reports that Bobo, who attempted to mediate with Caucaunibuca on behalf of the French club, told the Times the winger’s behaviour “is a disgrace to all the Fijian players who have made their mark in the elite French competition”.
He said Caucaunibuca had jeopardized the chances of other Fijian players winning contracts with French clubs.
“We are disappointed and at the same time embarrassed with his attitude,” Bobo said.
“It’s very unprofessional for a player whom the French rugby fans regard as one of the best in the game.”
Caucaunibuca was the leading try-scorer and was voted the best player in the French premier competition while playing for Agen in 2005 and 2006. He had sought a new contract in France after learning his Agen contract would not be renewed.
He was due in France in May for a medical check with Metro Racing, but did not appear, Bobo said.
“The club booked his flight but he said he did not have enough money. I personally sent him money but instead he stayed back in Labasa and refused to come over,” he said.
Bobo said Metro Racing had twice paid for air tickets for Caucaunibuca to fly to France from Fiji and on one occasion he had offered to personally escort him but he had not appeared.
The Leicester Tigers have yet to confirm Caucaunibuca’s signing, while he has also been linked to negotiations with the South African Super 14 franchise the Stormers.
Caucaunibuca has been described as the most dangerous attacking player in world rugby but his flamboyant career has been littered with off-field incidents.
In 2005 he was banned for a year by the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) after failing to keep a commitment to play for his home nation in the Pacific Nations Cup.Tweet