Fiji Drua

Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua finalise squads

The squads were announced exclusively to fans over the past two months and were finalised alongside teams unveiled by New Zealand and Australia.

Moana Pasifika completed it's playing roster yesterday with the announcement of former Highlanders and Crusaders outside back, Tima Fainga'anuku.

The 38-man squad is brimming with international and domestic experience, including former Wallabies veterans Sekope Kepu and Christian Leali'ifano, alongside several sons of Samoa and Tonga's international sides.

Assistant coaches for Fiji's Drua confirmed

Harris helped coach the Fiji Sevens programme, he was part of the Tokyo gold-medal winning squad and was heavily involved with Fiji Rugby's 15s programme when the Drua won the NRC in 2018.

Jackson has been involved with the Flying Fijians as an assistant coach on an ongoing basis and was part of the coaching team for the mid-year tests against the All Blacks.

Interim CEO Brian Thorburn said the duo were no strangers to the Fiji Rugby vuvale and have been around various squads and teams in a number of capacities.

Veteran prop adds grunt to Fijian Drua

The 32 year-old Saulo made his test debut in 2012 and last suited up for the Flying Fijians in their final pool match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The Suva born front-rower has played professionally in Romania, France and England and had a brief stint with US Major League Rugby franchise Rugby ATL earlier this year.

Fijian Drua announce six more signings

Former Fiji 7s captain Kalione Nasoko joins fellow Olympic champions Napolioni Bolaca and Ratu Meli Derenalagi in the inaugural Drua squad, which will assemble later this month in Australia ahead of pre-season training.

Flying Fijians and Nadroga prop Jone Koroiduadua, Namosi halfback Ratu Peni Matawalu, Flying Fijians and Naitasiri lock Chris Minimbi, former Fiji Under 20s captain Raikabula Momoedonu, and Namosi centre Kalaveti Ravouvou have also signed on with Fiji's first-ever professional rugby team.

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Mick Byrne appointed coach of Fijian Drua

Byrne's international coaching experience includes two Rugby World Cups, five Tri-Nations titles, five Rugby Championships and 11 Blesidoe Cups with the All Blacks.

He was the assisant skills coach for the All Blacks, the Wallables, Japan and Scotland, as well as the assistant coach for the Auckland Blues from 2012-2014.

Interim Drua CEO Brian Thorburn says Byrne's credentials are globally recognised and he's a wonderful addition to Fiji Rugby's first professional Super Rugby club.

     

Fijian Drua unveil first five signings for Super Rugby Pacific

Fresh from his triumph in Tokyo, utility back Napolioni Bolaca was joined by hooker Tevita Ikanivere, loose forward Nemani Nagusa, halfback Simione Kuruvoli and winger Onisi Ratave in signing on for the 2022 season.

Interim Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said the club was delighted to unveil it's first handful of signings.

"We're steaming ahead towards our historic first season, and today's naming signals our intentions - we are going to delight rugby fans with that typical Fijian flair and playing style," he said.

Fijian Drua to be based in Australia next year

The Drua were this week confirmed as part of an expanded 12 team competition called 'Super Rugby Pacific', alongside Moana Pasifika and five teams each from New Zealand and Australia.

But the Fijian team is unable to play on home soil in 2022 because of the country's ongoing Covid-19 situation and closed international borders.

Fiji Rugby Chairman Conway Beg said the decision to base the team in Australia next year was to ensure the Drua's first season in Super Rugby was as disruption-free as possible.

Moana Pasifika SR franchise will be another All Blacks feeder team: ex-Wallaby

Earlier this week, New Zealand Rugby announced that Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua were given conditional licences to join a new Super Rugby competition from next year.

Ex-All Blacks great Sir Michael Jones described the move as “a real groundbreaking moment in the journey for Pacific rugby”, but Turinui was sceptical of the benefits for the likes of Manu Samoa and Tonga at international level.

“To put it simply, Moana Pasifika look to be another NZ franchise who will funnel players through to the All Blacks,” Turinui wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"A dream come true" - Fiji celebrates Super Rugby milestone

New Zealand Rugby made the announcement at a press conference in Auckland yesterday afternoon, which was watched live by a jubilant group of FRU staff at Rugby House in Suva.

FRU Chairman, Conway Beg labelled it one of the most exciting developments in the history of Fiji Rugby.

"To be able to field a team in Super Rugby is a dream come true for our Union, our country, and our players," he said.

Private money to back Fiji franchise entry into Super Rugby 2022

The kicker is that the team is likely now to be privately owned, with the union holding a minority stake in the franchise.

The entry of one or more Pasifika sides into Super Rugby has been the subject of much debate in the southern hemisphere, with Moana Pasifika set to enter future Super Rugby competitions. A third bid – Kanaloa Pasifika – even threatened to sue the New Zealand Rugby (NZR) after their bid was snubbed last November.