Fiji Under-20 halfback Philip Baselala and Flying Fijians prop Livai Natave have secured full contracts with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua for the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season.
Previously part of the Drua’s development squad the duo has been fast-forwarded to help fill the injury void in the Drua pack.
Fijian Drua chief executive Mark Evans however commented that the move was a positive one for development level players.
“The fact that we have already identified players to move from the development group into the main playing squad for two key positions showcases our commitment to our player pathways. It’s one of the key strategic objectives of our Club, to offer capable young Fijian players a clear progression to being professional footballers right here at home,” Evans said.
Head coach Mick Byrne said it was continued progress for the pathways in place.
“When the opportunity comes for a spot in our squad, we want our pathway players to be given the first chance.
“Obviously, they have to be capable of taking on that role, and that’s what having them here as a part of the development programme is about. It’s about understanding how much development they need and where their areas of focus are, so when the opportunity comes, we want to those players to step up.”