Analysis

 Drua Drive To Get Real In Super Comp

Such flexibility will allow the Drua to significantly strengthen squad in key positions if they are unable to lure players back from the northern hemisphere. Or ask for secondment from New Zealand Rugby, like Moana Pasifika, to have current All Blacks playing for Drua and are also eligible to represent New Zealand
02 Sep 2021 21:02
 Drua Drive To Get Real In Super Comp
Former All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo could make a return to next year’s Super Rugby Pacific comp.

The drive is on to put together a formidable Fijian Drua team for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific which kicks off on February 18.

Likewise, the other new addition to the 12-team competition Moana Pacific, has already began its recruitment drive in earnest with the news that current All Blacks (3) and former Wallabies will be drafted to beef up the team apart from the Tongans and Samoans.

And already high-profile personnel have already being linked to its coaching setup. Former Highlanders mentor Aaron Mauger and national coaches for Tonga and Samoa, Toutai Kefu and Seilala Mapusua respectively, are likely to be included in the New Zealand, Maori and Pasifika set-up.

Our Drua will similarly need a coaching setup comprising people with rich rugby pedigree.

With the head coach yet to be named, we need to include prominent locals or former players as assistants.

Experienced former players like Senirusi Seruvakula, Kele Leawere and Mosese Rauluni are possibilities.

It is likely the majority of our players will be of those reps playing abroad.

But apart from those playing in New Zealand and Australia, do have the numbers to make up a competitive team?

And in the need to beef our status, will we look to Europe and draft players for the new season?

Or ask for secondment from New Zealand Rugby, like Moana Pasifika, to have All Blacks playing for Drua and are also eligible to represent New Zealand.

Such flexibility will allow the Drua to significantly strengthen squad in key positions if they are unable to lure players back from the northern hemisphere.

We needed top level competition to boost our Flying Fijians profile and we got it after stamping our entry into the Super comp on Monday.

Our inclusion should elevate our locals playing in the Skipper Cup Premiership comp to lift their game to the next level.

This is an ideal opportunity for our locals. Olympians like Sireli Maqala and Asaeli Tuivuaka have declared their intention to try out mainstream rugby.

And our players playing in Major League Rugby in the United States have returned awaiting Skipper Cup Premiership comp to resume.

The New Zealand teams (Crusaders, Chiefs, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Blues) are so strong that Australian teams (Brumbies, Reds, Waratahs, Force, Rebels) failed to fire in 2021.

Super Rugby is one of the toughest competitions in the world and the Drua need to be in to compete.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1G6SM23DvrEYARviokCMuxOnUv_kFzAAbdp6vfzM3LNQ/prefill

Highlanders eye Naholo brothers

The Highlanders could have a Naholo on either wing in Super Rugby Pacific in 2022 if the brothers’ bodies hold up in the National Provincial Championship.

Head coach Tony Brown – who has returned to the role after Clarke Dermody’s interim stint finished at the end of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman – has confirmed to Rugby Heaven that both Waisake and Kini were both on his radar, after Kini was released by the Chiefs.

Brown said: “Obviously with Waisake he didn’t play a lot of rugby in the last couple of years.

“Everyone is waiting to see if he can get back to his best. Fingers crossed he can. Fingers crossed his knee holds up, and he play consistent rugby for the rest of the NPC.

“If he does that, then 100 per cent he becomes an option for us.”

Kini, who has also had an injury-ravaged few years at the Chiefs, played in Taranaki’s opening two games in the NPC before the competition was suspended due to COVID-19.



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