ST.CHARLES, Mo. (June 13, 2013) Lindenwood University head coach Ron Laszewski has announced the addition of global rugby legend Seru Rabeni to the Lions coaching staff. Rabeni brings over 15 years of international and professional experience at the highest levels of the sport to the position.
He began his international career playing on the Fiji Under 21 team and then launched his professional career in 2001 with the Otago Highlanders in New Zealand playing the National Provincial Championship League (NPC), Super Rugby and 7s rugby. In 2004, Rabeni was selected to play for the Pacific Islanders against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, along with two other tours while also representing the Fijian National Team in both 7s and traditional 15s play.
Rabeni then spent six years in the Premiership League, playing Heineken Cup rugby with the Leicester Tigers in England. He moved to Leeds Carnegie in the north of England for a season before crossing the English Channel to France to play with Larochelle in the ProD2 for two years, followed by one year for Mont de Marsan.
Rabeni expressed his excitement about joining what has become a nationally recognized Lindenwood University collegiate program.
“The chance to pass on my experience and knowledge to the young, aspiring players of Lindenwood University is a dream come true. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and communities by any means possible,” he said. “I'm humbled and honored by this opportunity and look forward to being a part of building one of the best rugby environments in America.”
Coach Laszewski was quick to note how happy he was to have Rabeni join his staff.
“Rabeni is a legend in our sport and we welcome him to the Lindenwood family,” Laszewski said. “Our student athletes will benefit daily from his wealth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of world rugby."
In addition to playing on a national level, he also played internationally, representing Fiji in two World Cups, in Australia in 2003 and in France in 2007. He was also selected to the World English Barbarians for three consecutive years, playing against England, Wales, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. In 2010, Rabeni was picked for the World XV and represented the Asian Pacific Barbarians against the World XV tour in 2011 and against the Saracens in Hong Kong in 2012. He has also represented Fiji in 7s rugby at the Hong Kong 7s twice, Dubai 7s and Commonwealth Games.
As he joins the Lindenwood rugby coaching staff, Rabeni reflected on his career and his new path in coaching.
“I’ve been blessed to play with and against great teams and players around the world. I owe my success to my teammates, coaches and opponents and my respect and appreciation goes out to all of them,” he said. “As I turn the page on my rugby career, I want to dedicate myself to nurturing and developing the brightest young talent. I'm ready for the challenge to get the best from the players and open a pathway for their careers, but I also want to give back and be available to the rugby community as a whole to help move the sport forward. I look forward to working together to spread the good gospel of rugby.”
Rabeni will begin his duties for Lindenwood in August and will be primarily responsible for coaching the backs and 7s.