VIEW-magazine (Page 1)

of COVID-19 saw the remainder of the season cancelled. “Returning home was always on the cards though,” he says optimistically, “as I’d been away a long time and wanted to see mum and dad. The plan is to head back to the UK within the next six months to a year, but as with everything, that’s pretty up in the air.” The documentary itself was completed in the first big lockdown, after being filmed as a labour of love over the course of a couple of years. One of the co-directors is a young Englishman called Callum Drummond, who had been doing volunteer work in Fiji when he heard about what Leo was doing with the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW), an organisation he had helped found several years ago. “He said why not start document- ing the work we’re doing a little bit at a time and see where it goes from there,” says Leo, “we definitely didn’t plan on it being a full- length documentary.” The former Manu Samoa international adds that interviewing subjects on camera and presenting a documentary was never some- thing on his radar, and unnecessarily apologises for the rawness of the footage. I assure him it’s quite the opposite, and that the organic nature whereby the film rolled out only adds to its authenticity and easy relatability. He laughs that the doco’s ten thousand pound budget went solely on travel to and from the islands, but after it was initially released on Amazon Prime, he began to see how massive an impact it was making worldwide. The documentary has already opened up a lot of dialogue about the treatment of Pasifika rugby players around the world, and the issues of finance, governance and player eligibility that are holding back the growth of rugby union in the Pacific islands. “It has started people talking about World Rugby’s role as a whole and the way forward for the Pacific Islands,” he explains, “and the aim is to create a follow up that examines possible solutions rather than just talking about the problems.” With that in mind he has approached the powers that be at World Rugby, “who give the appearance that they are just a closed shop

THE PEOPLE WHO STAND TO LOSE FROM CHANGE HAVE ALL THE POWER, AND THE PEOPLE WHO STAND TO GAIN FROM CHANGE HAVE NONE OF THE POWER.

20 View JULY 2021

Made with FlippingBook Converter PDF to HTML5