June 27, 2021
The Australian Government has announced funding to help establish Fijian Drua’s inclusion in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition in 2022 and have Fijiana included in Rugby Australia’s Super W competition.
Fiji Rugby chief executive John O'Connor while expressing his deepest gratitude to the Australian Government for its support to of rugby in Fiji and the high performance programs said without their funding, the Fiji 7s teams could not have participated in this weekend’s PacificAus Sports Oceania Rugby Sevens tournament in Townsville.
“It is so important to our Olympic preparation and our quest to defend our gold medal, and we just thank them (Australian Government) on behalf of all Fijians.”
O’Connor said having the Fijian Drua team join the Trans- Tasman competition will greatly assist in Fiji's preparation for the Rugby World Cup to be held in France in 2023.
“Our Fijiana team has qualified for the Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand in late 2022, and joining the Super Rugby W competition will give our women players a much-needed program of high-level competition to help them prepare for the RWC next year.”
“The funding for the Fijian Drua will help us bring back our best players home from overseas, and retain our local talent, allowing us to offer full-time playing contracts to ensure we can field a highly competitive team in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition,” O’Connor said.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said rugby is a great unifier between Australians and their Fijian vuvale.
“Supporting the Fiji 7s to compete in Townsville and hopefully win gold in Tokyo is a great demonstration of our close sporting ties. Our support for the Drua and Fijiana is a reminder for all Fijians that there are brighter days ahead of us.”
O'Connor also thanked Rugby Australia, World Rugby & Oceania Rugby for their support in facilitating these arrangements.
By Romeka Romena