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Raiwalui confirms retirement status

30 September 2003

Saracens can confirm that a fax was received by Chief Executive Mark Sinderberry Monday morning from the Fiji Rugby Chief Executive Pio B. Tikosuva informing him of the unfortunate injury to their lock forward Ifereimi Rawaqa. The communication then went on to seek assistance from the club in allowing Simon Raiwalui, Saracens captain, to join the Fiji team for the World Cup which is due to start on 10th October in Australia.

Saracens would like to state that it has not in any way ever prevented Simon from being part of the Fiji World Cup squad, in fact a fellow Saracen, Nicky Little, has been with the Fijian squad since June in preparation for the tournament. The club firmly believes in the IRB regulations on this matter and supports its players in their international roles.

Simon had retired from international rugby while at Newport, some months before he signed for the club in May. His decision was based on family reasons as he and his wife have two young children and after serving his country on 39 occasions decided that he didn't want to be apart from his family for the period that the World Cup and it's preparations would take up.

Despite mounting pressure over recent weeks Simon has asked the club to confirm that his situation has not changed in that he is still retired from international rugby and thus will not be attending the World Cup. He has also stated that he hopes this will bring an end to the matter.

There are a total of six Saracens involved during the World Cup. Richard Hill and Kyran Bracken with England, Robbie Russell with Scotland, Morgan Williams with Canada, Raphael Ibanez with France and as already mentioned Nicky Little with Fiji and all of the these players have the full support of the club.