Jackson, Harris To Assist Byrne

Other appointments: Peceli Derederenalagi as team manager, William Koong as head physio and Nico Andrade as general manager.
17 Oct 2021 11:33
Jackson, Harris To Assist Byrne
Left: Former international rugby referee Glen Jackson now Flying Fijians and Fijian Drua assistant coach. Right: Former Fijian 7s assistant coach Brad Harris.

Flying Fijians assistant coach Glen Jackson and Fijian 7s team assistant coach Brad Harris have been named in the Fijian Drua’s coaching and management staff for the Super Rugby Pacific competition when it gets underway in February.

They join head coach Mick Byrne and Head of Athletic Performance Nacani Cawanibuka.

Others named were William Koong as head physiotherapist, Peceli Derederenalagi as team manager and Nico Andrade as general manager.

Drua interim chief executive officer Brian Thorburn said these experts and specialists are no strangers to Fiji Rugby, having been around in various squads and teams in a number of capacities.

“William Koong has been a valuable part of Fiji Rugby,” Thorburn said.

“He is an expert in his field with enormous experience and multiple achievements, which of course include looking after two Olympic gold-medal winning 7s teams.

“William has Super Rugby experience too, as the medical liaison for the four Super Rugby matches held in Fiji between 2016 and 2019.

“He has contributed immensely to Fiji Rugby over the years, and we cannot think of anyone better to look after our talented playing group.”

Koong sees this as a growth opportunity for Fiji and for him personally:

“Fiji Rugby’s entry into the Super Rugby programme has been long awaited.

“In my over 13 years of working for the union I can confidently say that we are more than ready now.

“It facilitates the next level in the Fijian Rugby Talent Pathway, it will provide more social and economic opportunities for young men and women.

“This is another growth opportunity in my career, as well as those I continue to mentor.”

“The break into Super Rugby means more opportunities for Fijian players.

“With the professional work environment aside, the primary benefit is one’s take-home packet. This will ultimately strengthen the livelihood and welfare of players and their beneficiaries.”

Thorburn said Harris is also familiar to many players in the squad since he has been with the 7s programme as assistant coach.

“He was also a part of the Tokyo gold medal winning squad.

“Brad brings with him international coaching experience as well, being a former forwards coach for Georgia’s national side.

“Brad’s has been heavily involved with Fiji Rugby’s 15s programme, in particular when the Drua won the National Rugby Championship in 2018.”

Thorburn said Jackson is a familiar name for fans, given his background as a popular Super Rugby player with the Chiefs, English Premiership side Saracens, as well as a highly distinguished referee with New Zealand Rugby.

“He has officiated 88 Super Rugby matches and 32 Test matches.

“Glen is also involved with the Flying Fijians as an assistant coach on an ongoing basis and was part of the coaching team for the mid-year tests against the All Blacks.”

He also welcomed Derederenalagi as team manager.

“Peceli has been with Fiji Rugby as assistant manager of Fijian national teams.

“He was also the team manager for the NRC Drua in 2018 and 2019, where the side won the NRC one year and were finalists the next.

“Rounding out the management team is general manager Nico Andrade. Nico has been with Fiji Rugby as general manager franchise teams.

“He was also with the NRC Drua in 2019, following on from his role as Head of Rugby Services for Queensland Rugby and the Queensland Reds.

“He was also team manager for the Queensland Country NRC side which won the competition in 2017.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


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