Up Close With Kean

Fiji Rugby Union board chairman Francis Kean reveals how they broke barriers to growing our national sport.
05 Jul 2020 13:46
Up Close With Kean
Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service Commander Francis Kean

The breaking down of provincial barriers was one of the main contributing factors in the growth of rugby in the country.

This was revealed by Fiji Rugby Union board chairman Francis Kean during a three-part series, Behind the Scenes at Rugby House interview.

Kean said the provincial barriers bordered on the ‘West versus East mentality’ which was prevalent in Fiji Rugby.

This, he says, was one of main issues tackled during their transformation journey.

“Our (FRU board) intent was a collective approach to bring about partnerships, unity and a common goal to serve the rugby players that make up this wonderful game of rugby union. Without the players there is no rugby union,” Kean said.

“This collective approach was a tactic to the breaking down of provincial barriers, west versus east unions mentality.

“Today the FRU speaks as one team. Our FRU national teams play as one team. The current FRU board is an outcome of this strategy.”

Kean also highlighted that during this transformation journey, there were decisions made by the FRU board that did not go well with World Rugby at first.

“The recruitment of our current CEO (chief executive officer) itself was a challenge as World Rugby disagreed to the appointment.

“We however forged ahead trusting that this was the right decision and choice for Fiji Rugby.

“In hindsight, World Rugby regretted their decision considering the positive impact and professional nous that John O’Connor has brought to Fiji Rugby.”

In the interview, he also indicated how previous CEOs of FRU had 70 per cent of their salary paid by World Rugby.

“The Board saw fit to change this by ensuring that FRU was fully responsible for the 100 per cent payment of the CEOs salary.

“This was a game-changer in the operations of Fiji Rugby and similarly earned the respect of Fiji Rugby despite our meagre finances, at the time this decision was made.”

Edited by Osea Bola



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