Willie Ripia has been
given a second chance by Jamie Joseph and
the Maori All Blacks. He’s working through
his gambling addiction, and he’s receiving support
from his Maori All Blacks team. But he says there is still a bit
to prove on and off the field. But for his Maori heritage, Willie Ripia may not have had the
courage to admit shame and front up. While he is still being treated
for his gambling addiction, the first five-eighth now
has the Maori team to back him. At the beginning of the year, his contract with the
Western Force was terminated. He says it was tough
being alone in Australia and things just continued to spiral. He’s been named first
five-eighth in the Maori team, and he has to rise to the occasion
off the field as well. The team’s final training
will be tomorrow, and a farewell will be held
at Orakei Marae, Auckland. Irena Smith, Te Karere.