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Reece is over devastating setback

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PRO 14    

Reece at his 'happiest ever' six months on from ripped-up Connacht deal

On-fire Crusaders wing Sevu Reece believes it was a blessing in disguise that PRO14 outfit Connacht ripped up his two-year deal last October before his arrival in Galway.

The Irish province took a dim view of Reece’s appearance in Hamilton District Court on one count of male assaults female, an incident involving his girlfriend in July last year. 

He was discharged without conviction, fined $750, and suspended for one Mitre 10 Cup match, but the Irish club told him not to bother travelling over from New Zealand as he was no long wanted by them.

Despite finishing out the Mitre 10 Cup in try-scoring form for Waikato, Reece was initially unwanted by any of the Super Rugby franchises for 2019.

However, Israel Dagg’s ongoing injury issues, which ultimately led to his recent retirement from the game, led to a December call from the Crusaders for the Fijian-born winger who has gone on to score four tries for the club in as many Super Rugby appearances.

“At that moment, it was disappointing that I lost that contract. But now when I look back, I wouldn’t have been fulfilling my dream of playing Super Rugby. I look back and put a big smile on my face because I’m chasing my dream,” said Reece to New Zealand media.

“That [off-field incident] is in the past. All of that has been dealt with and now I’m just grateful for where I am today. I’m just going to keep working hard. 

“At that moment [I signed with Connacht], I thought that was the best decision to make then. Now, looking back, I’m the happiest ever getting to fulfil my dreams.

“I’m lucky enough, you’re just rubbing shoulders with All Blacks and some guys with real high experience. During training, you have little conversations with Ryan (Crotty), Richie (Mo’unga), even Dagg. I’m learning a lot,”

“Just [Dagg’s] knowledge. My kicking game, especially. Because that’s not been a strength of mine, but now I could say it is. He is awesome, just helps a lot.

“I’ve got a really good support crew here. Whatever you need, what area you need support in, it’s always there. They always come and check on you, make sure you have everything sorted.

“Because I’m from Hamilton the only thing you think of is the Chiefs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be playing for the Crusaders. But I’m the happiest ever.”

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Reece at his 'happiest ever' six months on from ripped-up Connacht deal