Lautoka’s Churchill Park will host five Swire Shipping Fijian Drua home matches in the 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific competition.
Fijian Drua chief executive Mark Evans confirmed that next year, the team will play seven home matches and the venues have been finalised after extensive discussions with venue owners and considering a number of important factors.
Key among them is the unavailability of the stadium in Suva until April 2024 due to the upgrade of the athletic tracks.
Out of the seven matches, the five matches scheduled for Lautoka will be against the defending champions the Crusaders, NSW Waratahs, Moana Pasifika, Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels.
Only two matches will be played at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva against Hurricanes and the Queensland Reds.
Lautoka will host three Drua matches in March, as the home side welcomes back defending champions Crusaders at 1.05pm on the 9th, first time visitors to Fiji-the NSW Waratahs at 1.05pm on the 23rd and the Western Force at 1.05pm on the 30th.
The matches against the Waratahs and the Force will be doubleheaders, with the women’s teams also clashing as part of the Super W competition.
The Drua then take on the Hurricanes on a Friday night blockbuster in Suva at 7.05pm on 19 April and return to Lautoka the following week to take on the Moana Pasifika in the battle of the Pacific at 2.05pm on 27 April.
At the business end of the competition, the Drua will host the Queensland Reds in Suva at 2.05pm on 18 May and then return to Lautoka for the final regular season match against the Melbourne Rebels at 2.05pm on 1 June.
Evans said they are in active discussions with bus companies to create travel and match ticket packages with the Drua, so fans from Suva, Naitasiri, Tailevu, Lami and Pacific Harbour can make a day trip to Lautoka.
The Drua will kick off their 2024 season against the Blues in Auckland on 24 February.