Nigel VaganaAfter parting ways with South Sydney, former Kiwi flyer Nigel Vagana is set to join the NRL as an education and welfare officer from the beginning of 2009.

Vagana, who has had playing stints at the NZ Warriors, Canterbury, Cronulla and South Sydney, will take the role vacated by former Sharks prop Jason Stevens.

With the NRL still working had to rid the game of off-field drama, Vagana’s role will be critically important, trying to ensure the players focus on off-field education opportunities and areas in their life away from football.

Now 33, Vagana said he was very lucky to have had on-going guidance by his surrounding players over the years – starting at the Warriors.

“I was fortunate to be mentored by a number of senior players early in my career at the Warriors and this helped set me on the right path,” he said.

“When I came to the Bulldogs I decided to take up an architectural technology course which both gave me a sense of security for the future and ensured I had a balanced perspective about football.”

Vagana’s departure at Souths is believed to have freed up a decent portion under the salary cap – allowing the Bunnies to move on the likes of Reni Maitua and other talent as it becomes available.

By ricky

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