Eloni Vunakece is supporting Headache Australia in the Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2022 boardroom after suffering 15 concussions during his NRL career.

The former international NRL star made a name for himself as a star prop for the Sydney Roosters after making his first-grade debut in 2016.

eloni vunakece celebrity apprentice
Celebrity Apprentice star ELoni Vunakece suffered multiple concussions during his NRL career. Source: Nine.

The Celebrity Apprentice hopeful soon made the Toulouse Olympique team in the French Elite One Championship and also represented Fiji in the Rugby League.

In his freshman and sophomore years as a first-grade athlete, Eloni was selected for the NSW South Wales Cup Team of the Year. This is an honour typically reserved for only the best players in the state.

However, after just two years in the big leagues, the 34-year-old chose to retire from playing professional rugby league.

Why Did Eloni Vunakece Retire from NRL?

The tough decision came after doctors ruled it too dangerous for him to continue playing after it was estimated he suffered 15 concussions over his career. 10 of those injuries came within the final 12 months of playing.

Due to his experience with head injuries, Eloni is passionate about supporting research into brain-related injuries. As such, he’s dedicated to supporting Headache Australia on Celebrity Apprentice.

eloni vunakece nrl celebrity apprentice
Eloni made the difficult decision to retire from NRL under doctor’s orders. Source: Instagram @elonivunakece.

The charity is currently the only organisation in Australia that endeavours to support the more than 6 million Australians affected by headaches and migraines.

Further, the beloved athlete has pledged to donate his brain to science through the Australian Sports Brain Bank. This is to allow more research into the effect of head knocks on disorders such as dementia.

Eloni Vunakece Is Also a Ninja Warrior

Eloni has tried his hand at many things, including modelling and NRL. However, he can also add “Ninja Warrior” to his impressive resume.

In 2019, the star appeared on Australian Ninja Warrior and, thanks to an impressive performance, landed himself a gig on Australian Ninja Warrrior: State of Origin.

The stint only grew his popularity among fans. Accordingly, his passion and competitive spirit landed him a spot in the semi-finals.

Alongside his NRL and Ninja Warrior careers, the father-of-four supported his family by working as a garbage man. Since retirement, that has become his main source of income.

Who Is Eloni Vunakece’s Family?

The Celebrity Apprentice star and his wife, Mel, share four children — Lolohea, 9, Gigi, 7, Meli, 6 and Jagger, 3.

The active father says his new lifestyle post-NRL gives him the “freedom” to enjoy family time.

eloni vunakece family
Eloni Vunakece and his wife, Mel, share four children. Source: Instagram @eloni_vunakece.

“People think it’s strange I work as a garbo, but it gives [me] the time and freedom to do the things I enjoy, which is being with my family,” he told New Idea.

“My kids have all started to play football and I love being at their games – I’ve even started to coach the next generation. Everything is for them.”

Want even more goss? Listen to episode 173 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!

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