September 24, 2021
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Byrne appointed Fijian Drua head coach

 Mick Byrne has been appointed the Head Coach of the Fijian Drua.

The 61-year-old vastly experienced Byrne has been Assistant and Skills Coach for the Wallabies, All Blacks, Japan and Scotland over a 23-year rugby union coaching career.

The Australian also brings with him Super Rugby experience as Assistant Coach of the Auckland Blues from 2012 to 2014.

Prior to rugby, he had a stellar playing and coaching career with the AFL.

The initial term of his appointment is for the first two seasons.
Interim Drua chief executive Brian Thorburn said they are absolutely delighted to have someone of Mick’s calibre and experience as the team's foundation Head Coach.

"He is a seasoned professional and shone through the intensive selection process by displaying real passion for the Club and Fijian rugby, and by outlining solid plans for success both on and off the field."

"Mick prioritises maintaining a respectful and cordial relationship with players, staff and partners, which is particularly important for us," he said.

Byrne’s strong international coaching experience includes 2 Rugby World Cups, 5 Tri-Nations titles, 5 Rugby Championships and 11 Bledisloe Cups (with the All Blacks), as well as 3 Asian Cups and a Pacific Nations Cup (with Japan).

As part of ongoing local development, Byrne and the Fijian Drua Staff will map post-season capacity-building programmes.

This will include extensive visits to and sessions with the coaching staff of Fiji’s 24 provincial teams who feature in domestic competitions.

The Fijian Drua will announce further coaching appointments in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, close to 50 coaches applied for the top job and six were shortlisted.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O'Connor said since applicants shortlisted for the position want to keep their status confidential, he was not in a position to name them.

He also mentioned that they will not be able to reveal the package offered to Byrne due to the confidentiality clause in his contract.

By Reginald Chandar

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