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EDITORIAL: Getting Fijian Rugby Right-side Up with FRU on Top

While the analysis over the Coke Zero Deans final is still topical let’s deal with the elephant in the room so to speak. The governance structure of all levels of
20 Aug 2015 10:20
EDITORIAL: Getting Fijian Rugby  Right-side Up with FRU on Top

While the analysis over the Coke Zero Deans final is still topical let’s deal with the elephant in the room so to speak.

The governance structure of all levels of domestic rugby needs to be looked at.  The primary schools competition, the secondary schools competition and the provincial rugby competition are all separately organised. It’s no secret that there is in-fighting at all levels based on geographical priorities, financial transparency, leadership and personality tussles and audit queries, to name a few issues.  If the total domestic rugby machine were a factory, the end product would not pass the quality assurance test.

Far too much, is done by national coaches like Ben Ryan, fixing mistakes, bad game habits and rehabilitating maverick players. All these micro-issues should have really been dealt with lower down the ladder.

Part of the post-2015 World Cup rugby roadmap should deal with this issue. The Fiji Rugby Union should be in the drivers’ seat for this. We can’t have an embarrassing situation where a national secondary schools rugby team is touring abroad and the folks at Rugby House, simply, say they are not responsible for the team and complaints and issues should be dealt with by the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union.

The ideal situation would be having primary, secondary and provincial rugby all under one umbrella, governed by the Fiji Rugby Union. This would go a long way to developing the game from a technical and professional point of view. At the moment, primary school and secondary rugby is run seperately by a group of hard-working and dedicated volunteers, who deserve all the plaudits for getting the game to where it is.

However, everyone needs to be reading from the same playbook. Fiji’s rugby market is too small to divide resources and expect positive results at national level. FRU has gone a long-way to repairing its image and governance. It’s in good hands, under recent changes. It now has the leadership calibre and vision to make this happen.

Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby and Coke Zero Rugby, plus the Skipper Cup, are household names in Fiji. However, it’s a mine that has not yet opened up its mother lode. Administrators should not start getting territorial and bristle at the suggestion of handing over control to Rugby House. We should forget our power trips and focus on those who will benefit the most, the players.  Fiji Rugby will benefit the most when it has a streamlined body, that has a set of core values and objectives, understood by primary, secondary, provincial and national rugby stakeholders.

It will also help attract sponsorship and television coverage, both local and abroad. It is of course, imperative, that the FRU, boost its capacity to drive this paradigm shift. It needs to have a more hands-on approach to rugby in this country. That way, you get to drive the elephant out of the room. Or you could get squashed.

Josua tuwere

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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