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Rotuman Sports

From Fiji Rugby.com (7 October 2010)

Graham Dewes - priceless

Graham Dewes
(L-R) Graham Dewes and Filimoni Delasau
It's gone down as the worst moment in his career and perhaps rightfully so. Coming on as a second half replacement against Australia in June this year Kiwi Rotuman Graham Dewes was promptly sent off two minutes later. The innocent look on Dewes face as he walked off - PRICELESS.

Dewes though soon got over that little ignominy and continues to be one of Fiji rugby's unsung heroes, always keen to put his lot in for Fiji and quick to give credit to the team rather than grab the headlines for himself. Many people recall Fiji beating Wales in the 2007 Rugby World Cup but fewer people remember it was Dewes who scored the winning try in the pulsating last moments of the game that has been described as one of the best ever RWC games.

The former Auckland Marist player is now in his second season with Counties Manukau Steelers and he's joined at the club this season by an All Black legend.

"Tana Umaga is a player coach for us and it's awesome to be playing alongside as well as being coached by the All Black legend. We've got a really strong team culture this year and everyone is working hard for each other in training and on the field. This has helped us achieve some good results so far," Dewes said.

Counties Manukau currently sit in seventh place on the ladder following a dramatic one point win, 24-23, against North Harbour last Sunday – the first time Counties have beaten North Harbour in 12 years.

Like most players Dewes has set himself a number of goals this year one of which he's already achieved.

"My season goals are to make the PNC squad (I've done that), to have a good ITM Cup and help Counties achieve a top seven finish – which is our team goal and then hopefully this will gain me selection for the Europe tour in November."

Being a Kiwi, Dewes naturally has one eye fixed firmly on next year's Rugby World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand.

"Ultimately my main goal is to earn a spot in next year's world cup squad. So it's just a matter of ticking off all the right boxes on the way. I'll achieve this by training hard and performing whenever I don the Fiji or Counties Manukau jersey."

While rugby currently plays a big part in his life Dewes is realistic enough to realize it won't always be the case which is why he's also busy planning for a life after rugby.

"A player's career is never certain. You could play for ten years or one week - you're always one injury away from being sidelined."

With this in mind the 28 year old now his sights set on being a real estate agent.

"Players get a lot of down time with rugby so I've been keeping myself busy. I've been doing a bit of study and after training sessions and on my free days I'll be found working at Harcourt's Real Estate as an agent." Dewes said.

"Dealing with property is something I really enjoy. Having been a carpenter before turning to rugby full time, it's allowed me to keep dealing with houses, only now instead of building them, I'm selling them."

"Working in this field has also given me an insight on how I can invest my earnings from rugby wisely for my family's future and for myself."

Dewes, alongside Deacon Manu and Campese Maafu, is likely to be one of the frontrunners for the six front row spots for next month's Europe Tour.