PETERO Civoniceva who is strongly considering turning out for Fiji at RLWC2013, is copping more stick off the field than he did on it, revealing his office co-workers tease him about the primary school-style lunch box he brings to his cubicle each day.
Civoniceva has traded strictly enforced dietary lists for kangaroo-shaped biscuits as he begins life as an NRL community engagement ambassador.
The 309-game NRL veteran now works at the Queensland Rugby League's offices inside Suncorp Stadium, surrounded by boxes of footy equipment and clothing.
Civoniceva's primary focus is working with migrant communities and schoolchildren to show them the benefits of participating in rugby league.
"This was the ideal job for me after football. I was ready to step into something new," Civoniceva said.
"Everyone here has a laugh at my Poppers and biscuits, which are a bit primary school-like. It has been a joke at my house too, we had the four lunchboxes for the kids and now there are five. This is a great fit for me though. We have to harness people's passion for rugby league.
Our NRL Harmony program in Sydney has been great at getting new migrants involved in rugby league and we can run those programs in Brisbane in areas such as Logan and regions with a large Polynesian presence."
Civoniceva was always destined to become a rugby league advocate.
Just 15 months ago when he was outgoing skipper of Penrith, the imposing prop wrote a scathing opinion piece in the club's official newspaper.
The column urged fans to dump the board. It showed how much he cared for the game, even in west Sydney, as he faced a backlash for his actions.
Civoniceva said starting at the grass roots level would enable him to truly understand any problems facing league.
He doubts a move through the NRL's halls of power was on the cards.
"I haven't even thought about anything beyond this role," he said.
Civoniceva will play for Redcliffe next season and is considering playing for Fiji at Rugby League World Cup 2013.
This story has been reproduced from the Sydney Daily Telegraph, see the original article here: