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Stewart Leads Drua

Stewart Leads Drua
Fijian Drua rugby team with President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote standing in front (fifth from left), and Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor at Borron House, Suva on August 28, 2017 Photo: Grace Narayan
August 29
11:47 2017

 

Vodafone Flying Fijians centre John Stewart is going to captain the Fijian Drua as they make their debut at the Australian National Rugby Championship (NRC) on Saturday.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Stewart said he’s aware of the huge responsibility bestowed upon them as he hopes for an impressive performance in their NRC opener against Brisbane City.

The 29-year-old, who played for Sunwolves in the 2016 Super Rugby competition is grateful of the opportunity to lead the team as he looks ahead to fulfilling his resàponsibility.

“I’m aware there is a lot of expectation from the side,” he said.

“To be honest as you can see the team is comprised of local players and one thing that we’ve been emphasising is to work as a unit and try to raise our standard of play.

“And if players abide by these rules I’m confident the results will fall into place.

“I would like to thank coach Senirusi Seruvakula and the Fiji Rugby Union executives for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to lead the team.

“It is a great honour and a privilege to be selected as the Drua captain.”

Stewart said he’s fortunate to have some senior players in the team who will be assisting him and also sharing the workload.

They are Fijian Warriors skipper Mosese Voka, tough prop Joeli Veitayaki and bustling second five eight Eroni Vasiteri.

“We’re confident that despite having all local players we can make it possible as we’re looking forward to the first game. There are some debutants in the side as well as some seasoned campaigners who have been playing provincial rugby. And we’re hopeful playing in the NRC will enable them to make it through to the national team.”

The Fijian Drua will fly out to Brisbane at 8.15am tomorrow.

 

BRISBANE CITY READY FOR FIJIANS

Queensland Rugby Union yesterday announced that Andrew Ready will captain Brisbane City in the 2017 NRC.

The Queensland Reds hooker is preparing to pack down for his fourth season of NRC and will take the field as one of City’s most experienced players.

The QRU’s announcement comes ahead of Ready presenting a 2017 Brisbane City jersey to Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at Ballymore.

Brisbane City head coach Mick Heenan said they’ve looked at a number of factors.

“Andrew is well respected within the group and his attention to detail so far in training has been great,” Heenan said.

“We’ve been pretty successful as a City team and I’m keen for this squad to back up what’s been done before. We’ll take it week-by-week starting with the Fijians on Saturday.”

City have been training for three weeks now but training has intensified in the last week with all club players now on deck.

As two-time premiers in 2014 and 2015, Brisbane City have previously set high standards but that only excites Ready ahead of Saturday’s opener.

The Brisbane City squad features 18 players with Super Rugby experience and 18 returning Brisbane City players from last season. 17 players have been selected directly from Queensland Premier Rugby, with all nine clubs represented. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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