The 21-year-old Waikato winger was left out of all the squads during the original Super Rugby signing day in October, after being discharged without conviction over a domestic violence incident with his partner.
Reece has finally found a Super Rugby home, joining the reigning champions Crusaders on a replacement contract for the pre-season. His form in the Mitre 10 Cup with Waikato was irresistible, finishing with 14 tries as the competition’s leading try scorer.
Following his omission from all Super Rugby squads, New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said any future employment with rugby in New Zealand would be dependent on him completing counselling and help programmes, which he said he was undergoing at the time.
“Sevu has accepted responsibility for the situation, is remorseful and is undertaking a suite of counselling and help programmes.
“We continue to encourage Sevu as he seeks to make improvements in his life. Sevu has also asked to be taken out of consideration for the Duane Monkley Medal, awarded to the best Mitre 10 Cup player of the year,” Lendrum said.
Crusaders assistant coach Brad Mooar confirmed that Reece was now training with their squad.
“It’s outstanding to have him here,” Mooar said of Reece’s arrival at the Crusaders.
“He lit up the Mitre 10 Cup didn’t he and he was outstanding, scoring tries willy-nilly.
“The next question will be about his off-field stuff so I’ll just hit that on the head now. Look we’re really aware of what’s happened in the last 10 to 12 months for Sivu. We’ve discussed that with him, had a really good conversation.
“He’s here as a replacement player at the moment through to the end of the pre-season games. And it’s a great opportunity for him to show us what he’s about, and us to show him what we’re about.”
Rugby World Cup City Guide – Fukuoka:
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