SPORTS | Super Rugby

Drua Lures Rising New Zealand Lock Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta

Forward Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta’s dream to play Super Rugby has finally arrived. The 23-yearold Tasman Mako lock forward was among the five players who were named yesterday to play for
29 Sep 2021 12:00
Drua Lures Rising New Zealand Lock Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta

Forward Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta’s dream to play Super Rugby has finally arrived.

The 23-yearold Tasman Mako lock forward was among the five players who were named yesterday to play for the Fijian Drua when the Super Rugby Pacific gets underway in February.

Cirikidaveta, grew up in Te Araroa on the East Coast of New Zealand and has Maori and Fijian heritage.

He helped the Mako win the Premiership title in 2019 and 2020 and trained with the Crusaders during the pre-season earlier this year.

The switch to the Drua means he has his eyes on a test berth with Fiji.

 

Fiji Rugby Union high performance unit’s general manager Simon Raiwalui said Cirikidaveta’s experience would be vital for the Drua.

“It is an honour and a remarkable accomplishment for us to have Te Ahiwaru declare his eligibility for the Flying Fijians and join the Fijian Drua for Super Rugby,” Raiwalui said.

“He is a powerhouse forward, aggressive in both attack and defence, and is just as effective at lock as he is in the back row.”

“We will benefit from his experience over a number of seasons with Tasman Mako, which includes back-to-back NPC premiership wins.”

“As a professional coming through an elite New Zealand pathway right from high school, Te Ahiwaru has a lot of offer, especially to the younger members in our squad.”

 

Fijian Drua interim chief executive officer, Brian Thorburn, said it is important to provide pathways for Fijian players like Cirikidaveta.

“Cirikidaveta’s inclusion is a nod to his Fijian heritage, and we are both proud and grateful to confirm that he has declared his eligibility for Fiji and the Flying Fijians,” he said.

“It’s important to note that the Fijian Drua set-up offers a pathway for players progressing from domestic competition to professional rugby, as well as Fijian players wishing to return home.”

 

Fijian Drua Super Rugby team members - Meli Derenalagi, Vinaya Habosi, Meli Tuni and Serupepeli Vularika.

Fijian Drua Super Rugby team members – Meli Derenalagi, Vinaya Habosi, Meli Tuni and Serupepeli Vularika.

The other four players are Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Gold medallist Meli Derenalagi, Flying Fijians winger Vinaya Habosi, rookie Suva prop Meli Tuni and halfback turned second five eight Serupepeli Vularika.

 

Edited by Jonathan Bryce
Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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