An expatriate will be appointed as Fiji Rugby Union’s new High Performance Unit manager, Rugby House’s chief executive Manasa Baravilala confirms.
He also confirmed that they would like the successful applicant to start work before January, 2013.
Five of almost 40 applicants were shortlisted which was later reduced to four after a background check revealed that a detail in the first candidate’s CV did not check out.
Baravilala confirmed to FijiLive that the shortlisted candidates are expats and from Tier 1 rugby nations with elite-level experience.
“On the general manager High Performance we had almost 40 applicants from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, South America, North America, USA, Spain, Russia, and South Africa as well.
“We have done the interviews. The interview panel was Tuisese, deputy chairman, Peter Horne, IRB High Performance Manager Oceania and myself.
“We shortlisted and interviewed and there were five candidates we settled on. We are currently going through with the selection process, checking out further details and doing background check on the five applicants.
“Unfortunately a detail during the first candidate’s background check did not check out so we are currently looking at the four remaining candidates. We hope to make an announcement soon. We would like this person in place as soon as possible.”
He said there were also applicants from Fijians living overseas and locally, but “they did not have the core competence they were looking for, for a high performance at the elite level and experienced.”
Baravilala said they wanted someone who would not have to be taught again about the responsibility he would be entrusted with considering that the Rugby World Cup is less than three years from now.
“We want someone coming into this who has had experience, this is not a learning process as we have only a few years to go to the next World Cup.
“We really need someone to hit the ground running. And of course all the candidates who have been shortlisted have held similar experience at high levels around the world.”
Baravilala said Rugby House was pleased and encouraged by the show of interest from Fiji and abroad.
“We were encouraged with the interest shown in Fiji with countries like Italy, and Spain, Poland with people applying. It speaks well of what we are trying to achieve here. People are starting to realize the opportunity with the Fiji Rugby,” he said.
“As I have said before, it won’t happen overnight. This is a rebuilding process after last year’s World Cup. We are very optimistic moving forward. As the president said even though it is few more years before RWC 2015, the journey has to start now.”
The HPU manager’s post has been vacant since 30 December 2011 at the completion of Talemo Waqa’s term.
By Lavenia Vuadreu