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New Chair For Fiji Rugby Union, Conway Beg In For Commander Kean

Conway Beg in for Commander Kean as PM’s appointee to the FRU Board.
23 Jul 2020 09:12
New Chair For Fiji Rugby Union, Conway Beg In For Commander Kean
Fiji Corrections Commissioner and outgoing Fiji Rugby Union Board chairman Francis Kean. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) is going to have a new chairman.

This was confirmed yesterday by FRU’s chief executive officer, John O’Connor.

Fiji Corrections Commissioner Commander Francis Kean will also rotate out from the FRU board as per the constitution.

Commander Kean was the appointee of the Prime Minister to the FRU Board. O’Connor confirmed that Conway Beg is the new appointee for the Prime Minister to the FRU Board.

Commander Kean has served five years as board chairman and spearheaded the major transformation we all now witness in the strategic direction, operations, and management of Fiji Rugby.

Mr O’Connor said that without the dynamic, visionary and frank leadership style of Commander Kean, FRU would still be stuck in the swamp of mediocrity witnessed for years.

“The changes we all witness today in FRU is a testament commitment and love for Fiji Rugby,” Mr O’Connor said.

Under the Commander Kean’s chairmanship, the FRU has achieved:

  • A first-ever strategic plan for FRU;
  • A new constitution;
  • World Rugby 7s bid;
  • Super Rugby bid;
  • A World Rugby Council Seat, alignment of all rugby in Fiji from primary to provincial, a provincial competition for Women’s Rugby;

Four consecutive years of unqualified annual financial reports, 4 consecutive years of surplus;

An increased 300 per cent financial portfolio from $8M million to $24m in five years;

Uniting the FRU Council are just some of the hallmarks of Kean’s tenure as chairman of the FRU Board;

Under his chairmanship the FRU is paying the CEO; in the past, previous CEOs had 70 per cent of their salary paid by World Rugby;

During last year’s RWC the FRU signed each Flying Fijian player a contract fee of $35,000, This did not include the increased allowance of $300 a day for each player;

Although this was during the World Cup the FRU recorded a modest profit of $88,590.

Mr O’Connor said they were on the verge of joining the Six Nations competition and have Super Rugby Aotearoa and Australia knocking on our doors, great opportunities for Fiji Rugby which we could only dream of in the past.

“This is a testament to his leadership ability over the past five years, operating smartly and tactfully when required plus using leverage of being a council member for the benefit to Fiji Rugby.

“I will dearly miss the commitment and enthusiasm of working closely with Commander Kean. He never stops, is very hardworking and always pushing the boundaries for success.

“We spent five years together at the National Fire Authority and another year at FRU, in both organisations he was chairman and I was the CEO; his work ethics has rubbed off on me,” Mr O’Connor said.

Commander Kean, prior to joining FRU, was chairman and president of Suva Rugby Union over a five-year period. He was instrumental in resurrecting Suva rugby from the financial mess of the failed SRU-led International 7s tournament in 2009.

Mr O’Connor said: “Fiji Rugby will surely miss a great servant of the game, who volunteered his time and resources both to SRU and FRU.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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