Fiji Drua

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.

Fijian Drua already dreaming of first Super Rugby title

New Zealand Rugby announced on Friday it is working with the Auckland-based Moana Pasifika and the Fiji Rugby Union to "further explore the viability of Pasifika teams for 2022 and beyond."

The newcomers would join the existing five teams from New Zealand and five from Australia in a 12 team competition, provided key criteria is met.

Fiji Rugby CEO John O'Connor said it is a momentous day for Fiji Rugby with the dream of the Drua participating at a Super Rugby level on the verge of becoming reality.

NRC cancellation a blow for Fijian Drua rugby team

The 2020 NRC competition has been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Drua made the semi-finals in their debut campaign in 2017 before winning their maiden championship in 2018.

Last year they made the semi-finals despite missing a number of their top players.

Senirusi Seruvakula said he wasn't surprised by the cancellation but was hoping other options would be available.

"Our aim was to win it again and I've got all the players that I wanted but it was just disappointing the NRC won't happen," he said.

Fijian Drua approaching NRC semi with confidence

The defending champions won their final two matches of the regular season, away to Melbourne Rising and at home to Queensland Country, to sneak into the semi finals for the third straight year.

Half of the Drua squad is new to the NRC competition in 2019 and coach Senirusi Seruvakula said he is really proud of the way they have risen to the challenge over the past two months.


New laws implemented in NRC

Teams will now be rewarded for strong defence with a goal line dropout when the ball is held up in the in-goal area.

They will also be recognized for aggressive territorial kicking with the introduction of a 50:22 play.

Attacking teams that boot the ball indirectly from open play or a free kick within their own half and land it either within their opponent’s 22 or touchline will earn a lineout throw.