3 May 2013

Sport: Samoa forward calls for better support for young Polynesians NRL players

10:09 am on 3 May 2013

The West Tigers backrower Eddy Pettybourne says the NRL community cannot continue to let its young Polynesian stars struggle with deep personal problems alone.

Pettybourne and the Tigers were rocked by the death of 20-year-old forward Mosese Fotuaika, who took his own life in March after tearing a pectoral muscle during a routine weights drill.

And on Monday North Queensland's young hooker Alex Elisala also died, following a road accident.

The pair were Toa Samoa teammates last month for an international against Tonga and Pettybourne says Elisala was a good kid who was always laughing.

Pettybourne hopes the NRL can do more to ensure young Polynesians are given help to deal with the pressures of living away from their family support group at a young age, and to remove the stigma that surrounds depression