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Fijian Drua 2022

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
I figures these guys will be everyone’s second team so worthy of a thread.

Brian Thorburn has been appointed as interim CEO for the Drua for the next 12 months as the team is established, it will be a completely independent board and has an unconditional license. Fiji Rugby will be a major shareholder but they’ll also have a management structure which allows private equity.

As confirmed elsewhere the team will be based in Australia for the entire 2022 season with location TBC.

Its expected the NRC Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula will be appointed as head coach with Moses Rauluni as assistant.

Sorry to steal your first message Adam, but going to track the squad list here:

Coaching Team:
Mick Byrne - Head Coach
Brad Harris - Assistant Coach
Glen Jackson - Assistant Coach
Nacani Cawanibuka - Head of Athletic Performance

Hooker:
Tevita Ikanivere

Prop:
Jone Koroiduadua (THP)
Meli Tuni (LHP)
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa
Manasa Saulo
Samuela Tawake

Lock:
Chris Minimbi
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (also BSF)
Isoa Nasilasila
Ratu Leone Rotuisolia
Sorovakatini Tuifagalele
Joseva Tamani (also flanker)

Backrow:
Raikabula Momoedonu
Meli Derenalagi
Nemani Nagusa
Rusiate Nasove
Kitione Salawa Jnr

Scrumhalf:
Ratu Peni Matawalu
Simione Kuruvoli

Flyhalf:
Napolioni Bolaca (also wing, fullback)
Kitione Taliga (also fullback)

Centre:
Kalione Nasoko
Kalaveti Ravouvou
Vinaya Habosi (also wing, fullback)
Onisi Ratave (also fullback)
Apisalome Vota

Wing:

Fullback:
Serupepeli Vularika (also scrumhalf, inside centre, wing)
 
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Dan54

Michael Lynagh (62)
I hope they go bloody well, will look forward to see their recruitment. Like MP they may struggle for year or 2, but I still think they could well turn out alright in a few years!
 

kiap

Andrew Slack (58)
Brian Thorburn has been appointed as interim CEO for the Drua for the next 12 months as the team is established, it will be a completely independent board and has an unconditional license. Fiji Rugby will be a major shareholder but they’ll also have a management structure which allows private equity.
That's interesting.

Unless upgraded, Western Force only have an expiring licence, was a 5-year term.
 

Warpath

Billy Sheehan (19)
Seruvakula doesn't qualify with the criteria set, he could be assistant coach though with Rauluni. its a shame it will be australia based cause during the NRC, we saw pathetic numbers of fans coming to watch them play, it won't help us at all with gate takings and we need the money/funding, playing/being based in NZ would have gotten us a lot more gate takings..
 

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
Seruvakula doesn't qualify with the criteria set, he could be assistant coach though with Rauluni. its a shame it will be australia based cause during the NRC, we saw pathetic numbers of fans coming to watch them play, it won't help us at all with gate takings and we need the money/funding, playing/being based in NZ would have gotten us a lot more gate takings..

interesting, what were the Drua NRC crowds in New Zealand like?

Its a shame it’s Australian based huh?
Fiji CEO said the only reason this team is possible is because of the funding provided by the Australian Government..

I also doubt any of the NZ govt will provide the level of funding someone like NSW/QLD will provide to have the team based there.
 

Warpath

Billy Sheehan (19)
Drua never played in NZ, but in july when Fiji played 2 tests against NZ, we got 15k ppl in the first game and 25k in the 2nd test, thats better numbers than the 500 we were getting in the NRC in australia (compared to the 5000 we were getting when the drua played in fiji)
 

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
Drua never played in NZ, but in july when Fiji played 2 tests against NZ, we got 15k ppl in the first game and 25k in the 2nd test, thats better numbers than the 500 we were getting in the NRC in australia (compared to the 5000 we were getting when the drua played in fiji)

not surprised a test match received a larger crowds then 3rd tier rugby.

I guess they can go play in NZ, but there’s no guarantee the crowds would be any larger and potentially lose the millions in grants the Australian govt has offered them.

Seems a bit shortsighted…
 

Warpath

Billy Sheehan (19)
gate taking and sponsorship from the chiefs-crusaders game pulled in around $2m dollars, thats more than what RA is giving us in grants, even WR is giving a few million , is it shortsighted when we have already been in the same situation where there is just not enough money to retain players for the next season, we lost some big stars after the NRC cause we could not retain them because of the failure of the NRC to continue (and this was before covid) , even the grounds in which Fiji played in Australia were "sub-standard", will be bit of a joke if we get those grounds for Super Rugby too, most didn't even have stadiums ...atleast in NZ we were assured of a decent size stadium with 15k sitting
 

Bandar

Charlie Fox (21)
I'm confused, why are you comparing crowds in the NRC with tests in NZ?

Australian teams only drew a couple of thousand to the Grand finals.

Nobody is suggesting playing a club grounds, all I've heard discussed is Townsville, Gold Coast and Parramatta all more than 15,000 capacity (I agree, I think they or any super side will fill them though)
 

kiap

Andrew Slack (58)
gate taking and sponsorship from the chiefs-crusaders game pulled in around $2m dollars
Drua will play in NZ next year (if they don't it means SR Pacific is called off).

Be interesting to see drua-crusaders crowd, etc, compared to the average for the tournament.

Time will tell.
 

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
gate taking and sponsorship from the chiefs-crusaders game pulled in around $2m dollars, thats more than what RA is giving us in grants, even WR is giving a few million , is it shortsighted when we have already been in the same situation where there is just not enough money to retain players for the next season, we lost some big stars after the NRC cause we could not retain them because of the failure of the NRC to continue (and this was before covid) , even the grounds in which Fiji played in Australia were "sub-standard", will be bit of a joke if we get those grounds for Super Rugby too, most didn't even have stadiums .atleast in NZ we were assured of a decent size stadium with 15k sitting
Perhaps send a memo to FRU, in the words of the CEO words:

“Quite simply, the Fijian Drua’s participation in Super Rugby Pacific would not have been possible without DFAT and PacificAus Sports Program’s support.”

You need to recognise the difference between NRC and Super Rugby, the games won’t be played at grounds without stands, it will be in stadiums.

NRC 2020 was cancelled due to COVID, it’s a bit rich to blame Australia for players leaving due to that.

How many season did NZR let Fiji play in the ITM Cup?
 
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Wilson

Peter Johnson (47)
Drua never played in NZ, but in july when Fiji played 2 tests against NZ, we got 15k ppl in the first game and 25k in the 2nd test, thats better numbers than the 500 we were getting in the NRC in australia (compared to the 5000 we were getting when the drua played in fiji)
If you're looking for relevant crowd numbers in Australia the Western Force vs Fiji Latui drew 19.5k in 2018 and ~13k in 2019 in Perth.
 

KOB1987

David Codey (61)
I think Parra would be the ideal home base for them. Awesome stadium and huge islander population. It’s the perfect interim solution for the Western Sydney conundrum and NSW rugby can keep their filthy noses and wallets out of it. North Qld might be a better fit climatically but they won’t sell anywhere near as many seats.
 

liquor box

Jim Lenehan (48)
I figures these guys will be everyone’s second team so worthy of a thread.

Brian Thorburn has been appointed as interim CEO for the Drua for the next 12 months as the team is established, it will be a completely independent board and has an unconditional license. Fiji Rugby will be a major shareholder but they’ll also have a management structure which allows private equity.

As confirmed elsewhere the team will be based in Australia for the entire 2022 season with location TBC.

Its expected the NRC Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula will be appointed as head coach with Moses Rauluni as assistant.
6th or 7th favourite for me at best.

I will even support the Tahs over them as they are Australian.

Obviously 5 NZ teams will be 8-12th favourites.
 

Dan54

Michael Lynagh (62)
Just out of interest with Covids grip in NSW, will that be a good place to base Drua. Also they may have a problem if players are reluctant to get jabs becuse almost certainly non vaxxed players won't be crossing countrie's borders!
 

Wilson

Peter Johnson (47)
Just out of interest with Covids grip in NSW, will that be a good place to base Drua. Also they may have a problem if players are reluctant to get jabs becuse almost certainly non vaxxed players won't be crossing countrie's borders!
I think they're looking at QLD at the moment, but either way I think there will have to be a vaccination requirement for super rugby next year. I don't see anyway you can operate a cross border competition without it.
 

Pfitzy

David Wilson (68)
Fairly good support in Brisbane or Sydney from the Fijian community.

Will depend how COVID is going down here of course but hopefully vaccination and quarantine are sorted out before preseason.

giphy.gif
 

stoff

Ron Walden (29)
Drua never played in NZ, but in july when Fiji played 2 tests against NZ, we got 15k ppl in the first game and 25k in the 2nd test, thats better numbers than the 500 we were getting in the NRC in australia (compared to the 5000 we were getting when the drua played in fiji)
Got 14k on a Saturday arvo in Melbourne against the Wallabies in 2017. Also, I think you might have overstated the second test by about 5k.
 
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