September 24, 2021
Two-time Olympic 7s winning Strength and Conditioning Coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka has been appointed the Head of Athletic Performance for the Fijian Drua.
Interim Drua chief executive Brian Thorburn while making the announcement in a media conference today said Cawanibuka's work ethic, discipline and commitment is world class.
"Naca has worked tirelessly over the years to lead S&C for our 7s programmes, which has resulted in two Olympic gold medal wins and numerous World Sevens Series titles."
"His credentials are globally recognised and he is a wonderful addition to Fiji’s first professional Super Rugby Club.”
Newly appointed Head Coach Mick Byrne said he is really looking forward to working with Cawanibuka and other coaching and management staff to get the squad ready to meet the standards required for top level rugby week in, week out.
"As a professional competition, Super Rugby is right up there as the most demanding and most expansive. It will require massive fitness, skill and conditioning commitment from everyone and Naca’s unique insights and proven ability at the elite level will be invaluable for us.”
“To compete with the best in professional rugby and work with the some of the best coaches, management and players in the sport, is the dream of a lifetime for any Fijian. This is the beginning of a new era for Fijian rugby - a major milestone that has taken a quarter of a century to materialise.”
“It is a privilege to be called to be part of the journey and entrusted with the role. It is rewarding personally for me to see players coming through our various domestic pathways and witnessing Fijians returning home to be part of the squad."
"This is the culmination of the efforts of so many people over the years and it is important we acknowledge their labour and contribution.”
"These players will lay hand on the oars of the Drua, to set sail through the oceans of new opportunities and challenges to create a rugby legacy for our fellow Fijians," he added.
By Reginald Chandar