‘Drua Reps Must Perform’

Simon Raiwalui tells why Drua need to be competitive.
19 Sep 2021 13:59
‘Drua Reps Must Perform’
Sireli Maqala is farewelled by his parents at Labasa Airport in Waiqele on his way to Suva on September 15, 2021. Maqala is one of our sevens players tipped to make the Fijian Drua squad for next year’s Super Rugby Pacific. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Players who will be contracted for the Fijian Drua when the Super Rugby Pacific competition gets underway in February, must perform.

This was the message from Fiji Rugby Union High Performance Unit general manager Simon Raiwalui.

Speaking to SUNsports, the former Flying Fijians captain said, the players need to perform to keep the Drua going.

“This is a different competition (Super Rugby Pacific) altogether,” Raiwalui said.

“The Drua have to be consistent and be competitive to make the sponsors happy.

“And we’ve to make sure that our fans fill up the stadium’s capacity.”

Raiwalui said the Drua squad would be a mixture of local players and our overseas-based players.

“We have done a couple of exciting signings lately so we are excited. If you are Fijian you have the right to be part of the Fijian Drua team.”

Interim Drua chief executive officer, Brian Thorburn, said 12 players have already signed their contract while another 10 are expected to sign soon.

“We hope to be able to announce our first batch of five or six players.

“We’ll be announcing more each week. I‘m thrilled with the calibre of players we’ve got lined up, and I think we’ll be able to put a really competitive team on the park,” he said.

One of the local-based players who stands a good chance of being contracted is rising sevens rugby star Sireli Maqala.

He turned down an offer to play for Bayonne in the French ProD2 competition after being offered a spot for the Drua.

On Wednesday, Maqala left Labasa for Suva but he did not wish to talk to the media when approached at the Labasa Airport in Waiqele.

In an earlier interview, Maqala’s dad Sisa Ramuadra said they were happy with the discussions they had with Fiji Rugby CEO (John O’Connor) for clarifying the opportunities for his son.

When approached yesterday O’Connor said the announcement on the first batch of players would be done next week.

Raiwalui said with the Drua’s inclusion in Super Rugby, means they must elevate the standard of the Skipper Cup Provincial competition to help lift players game to the next level.

Edited Leone Cabenatabua


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