When being a WAG isn't all it's cracked up to be

Spy News,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 6 March 2018, 11:44PM
Amber and Victor Vito. Photo / Instagram
Amber and Victor Vito. Photo / Instagram

As sports fans get into the swing of another Super Rugby season, the nation's rugby WAGs are busy navigating another year of the ups and downs that come with dating a top tier player.

Because while WAG-dom usually includes a few extra perks besides that whole 'being in love' business (think travel or free stuff or becoming a social media influencer), there can also be downsides to living with a rugby star...

The rugby-mad public

A certain amount of patience is required when heading out and about with your significant other if your significant other just so happens to be an All Black.

With so many Kiwis claiming ownership over their rugby idols, WAGs soon get accustomed to Sunday brunch being interrupted by fans wanting a selfie with their other half.

And let's not even start on all those times wives and girlfriends have had to listen to "fans" hurling abuse at their partners if a match result hasn’t gone their way.

Becoming a rugby widow

The Super Rugby season is played across multiple countries around the world. The All Blacks travel to Australia, South Africa and Argentina for the Rugby Championship each year. And let's not forget the ABs' traditional end of year tour to the northern hemisphere.

Although wives and girlfriends often do travel to whichever part of the world their partner happens to be playing in, there are also plenty of times where they're left behind to keep the home fires burning for weeks on end.

Case in point: TJ Perenara's long-time love Greer Samuel lamenting the fact last year's All Blacks tour to the UK and Europe kept them apart for six long weeks.



There's nowhere to hide

In an interview with the NZ Woman's Weekly before the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Ali Williams' wife Casey Green shared the worst part of being a WAG:

"When he gets into trouble, the whole world knows." (Which was prophetic given Williams' spot of bother outside a Parisian nightclub last year.)

Yep. Given the pedestal rugby stars are put on, any fall from grace usually means a lot of public pain for all involved...

The injuries. Oh, the injuries.

Broken bones. Torn ligaments. Concussions.

Every WAG must breathe a sigh of relief whenever their partner gets through another 80 minutes of rugby without sustaining a career-ending (or life-altering) injury.

The big moves across the world

These days, New Zealand's top rugby stars inevitably wind up spending at least a few years of their career at an overseas club.

At first glance, this no doubt looks like an appealing option for the wife or girlfriend who's also packing up their life to move across the world for rugby – especially if they're heading somewhere like Paris. (See: Honor Carter, who has spent the last couple of years at Paris Fashion Week, the final of the French Open, the Monaco Grand Prix and more Moet parties than you can shake a stick at.)

However, even if a WAG does hit the location jackpot, packing up your whole life to live on the other side of the world can mean being away from your support network at a time when you need them the most.

For example, since moving to La Rochelle in 2016, Amber Vito, wife of former All Black Victor Vito, has often shared the hardships of raising two young sons without her wider family on hand to help.

"The village (aka family) a world away is no joke," she recently told her 8,000 Instagram followers.


A post shared by Amber Rose Vito (@ambervito) on Oct 12, 2017 at 6:12am PDT


The online savagery

Being in the public eye makes anyone a target for hateful comments online these days, but there seems to be special venom reserved for high profile rugby players and their significant others.

Julian Savea and his wife Fatima found themselves on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse on Facebook when Spy ran a story about the couple's private life a little over a year ago. 

Fatima responded to those "disgusting and harsh comments" with a series of videos on Instagram. "You guys don't know me and Julian," she told the online trolls.

"You only know what we show you, you don't know our lives or what we go through, so for people to judge based on what is written about us or what you see is pretty pathetic.

"Me and Julian are still human and we have feelings and seeing these comments really does upset us because we're good people."


Bring on the parenting life with you 💥❤️ #NoMoreSiglo

A post shared by ⚡️T I M A ⚡️ (@_timasavea) on Dec 5, 2017 at 4:52pm PST