SPORTS

Free Jacks Boss Hails Fijian 2

Former Flying Fijians flanker Naulia Dawai and Fijian Drua centre Poasa Waqanibau are in safe hands.
21 May 2020 11:03
Free Jacks Boss Hails Fijian 2
Former Flying Fijians flanker Naulia Dawai (on weights) and Poasa Waqanibau training at their New England Free Jacks club.. Photo: MLR

Former Flying Fijians flanker Naulia Dawai and Fijian Drua centre Poasa Waqanibau are in safe hands.

The two players have been taken care off by their club New England Free Jacks after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the USA’s Major League Rugby (MLR) competition.

This was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday by New England Free Jacks co-founder and chief executive officer Alex Magleby.

“We’ve tried to recruit high quality players from around the world,” he said.

“Individuals who we believe would fit the Free Jacks ethos—humble, hardworking, caring free-spirits, on and off the field.”

Magleby said Free Jacks played five matches in the MLR competition before it was called off.

“The Free Jacks were the highest try scorers in the competition.

“Both Naulia and Poasa were instrumental in these attacking successes.”

He confirmed the club will be looking at recruiting more Fijians in the future as there has been significant interest in the MLR from players around the world and that has really grown year-to-year.

“Yes. Naulia and Poasa have been great ambassadors for Fiji. They have been humble, hard-working, and lively players on the field, and gentlemen off of it,” he said.

“They both really represent the ethos of the Free Jacks on and off the field very well. Naulia, in particular, has stood out as a leader helping the younger, less-experienced players learn how to be professionals.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic with the debut season being called off, Magleby said, the duo’s contract remained intact.

“Like everyone we had to suspend the season in mid-March. It was two days before our inaugural home opener which was approaching a sell-out crowd,” he said.

“Obviously we are disappointed we weren’t able to play live in front of our home fans this year in Boston and celebrate together, but taking the decisive action early on to cancel the rest of the MLR season was the right decision to get our players home safely throughout the region, the US, and abroad.

“We were able to pay our players in full, and my being decisive we have left MLR in a healthy position financially and otherwise heading into the 2021 season,” Magleby added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabu

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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