SPORTS

Set Piece Is Priority: Raiwalui

With the right preparations, the Fijian Drua will be competitive in all areas of the game when the Super Rugby Pacific competition starts on February 18. These were comments of
07 Oct 2021 13:30
Set Piece Is Priority: Raiwalui
Fijian Drua number 11, Kalione Nasoko (left) and Drua number 6, Meli Derenalagi during the sevens team training in Tokyo, Japan, on July 24, 2021. Photo: World Rugby

With the right preparations, the Fijian Drua will be competitive in all areas of the game when the Super Rugby Pacific competition starts on February 18.

These were comments of Fiji Rugby Union High Performance manager, Simon Raiwalui.

“That’s the plan to be competitive in all areas obviously,” Raiwalui said during the zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“We’re starting preparations on the first of November and we are going to work on all sectors. Set piece will be our priority,” he said.

“We have selected a forward pack that is talented, it’s got youth. I think with the right preparation we will be competitive in all areas.”

The Fijian Drua has already named 16 of its 37-member squad. Another six players will be named soon with some coaching staff while the rest of the team will be known by the end of next week.

Raiwalui said players have started with their screening as gyms have opened on October 4.

“The inactivity has been difficult but we have been working with the High Performance players that have been given daily programmes to be doing it from their homes.

“We are starting earlier because we know the situation that we have been in there will be a heavy emphasis on getting ready for playing and getting the rugby capacity up.

“It is going to be very well planned out.

“We totally understand the situation that is in front of us, it’s going to be a challenge but this is an opportunity that we have been waiting for – to be able to go into the professional environment as a Fijian team and compete as a Fijian team, so we going to take this opportunity with both hands,” he added.

The Drua will have two trail matches before the season kicks off.

Meanwhile interim chief executive officer, Brian Thorburn said the addition of Tokyo Olympic gold medallist players will no doubt bring the much needed depth in the squad.

“The three that we have announced so far as well as the wider group bring enormous skills and experience to the team, speed and size – we don’t get many players as big as Ratu Meli Derenalagi, and Napolioni Bolaca and Kalione Nasoko are also fanstastic players,” Thorburn said.

“They are going to adapt into the 15s environment.

“We obviously have the talent and we are thrilled to have them.”

The Fijian Drua will be based in Brisbane, Australia and confirmation on their base will be announced later.

They fly out by October 15 and are expected to start training in camp on November 1.

FIJIAN DRUA PLAYERS AND COACHING STAFF SELECTED SO FAR:

1. Napolioni Bolaca 

2. Tevita Ikanivere 

3. Onisi Ratave 

4. Nemani Nagusa 

5.Simione Kuruvoli 

6.Ratu Meli Derenalagi 

7.Serupepeli Vularika 

8.Meli Tuni 

9.Vinaya Habosi 

10.Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta 

11.Kalione Nasoko 

12.Jone Koroiduadua 

13.Ratu Peni Matawalu 

14.Chris Minimbi 

15.Raikabula Momoedonu 16.Kalaveti Ravouvou.

Interim CEO: Brian Thorburn

Head coach: Mick Byrnes

Head of Athletic Performance: Nacani Cawanibuka

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback: sereana.salolo@fijisun.com.fj



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