Drua Make The Difference: Doge

The introduction of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team to the Super Rugby Pacific has been a bonus to the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad.
09 Jul 2022 14:07
Drua Make The Difference: Doge
Vodafone Flying Fijians players after their training at Albert Pak, Suva on July 5, 2022. From left: Mesulame Dolokoto, Mesake Doge and Kitione Kamikamica. Photo: Sereana Salalo

The introduction of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team to the Super Rugby Pacific has been a bonus to the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad.

It has built the depth of the squad, says prop Mesake Doge.

The 29-year-old who stands at 1.8 metres tall hails from Bulu, Nadogo in Macuata, plays for Dragons in the PRO 14.

The former Queen Victoria School student has won four caps, following his debut in 2016 against Georgia in Suva.

“It’s a good experience to be back though,” he said.

“It’s been a while with the boys, especially the young boys; it’s a good start off, good depth for the Flying Fijians.

“That’s what we needed for all those years, and it’s a big role for us with new players coming in providing that platform so that they can get used to and adapt quickly.”

Doge, who joined the Dragons for the 21/22 season, played for Brive in the French Top 14 since 2019, along with Flying Fijians number 8 Kitione Kamikamica and Peniami Narisia.

Before that Doge played for Timisoara Saracens in Romania between 2017 and 2019, making 27 appearances and scoring three tries.

He indicated that previously, most of the players from the Northern hemisphere clubs were considered for the Flying Fijians but with the Drua in the Super Rugby, they have created tight competition for the white jersey.

“They (Drua players) bring a different kind of mindset. Competitions in the North are quite different from the Southern hemisphere.

“It’s Super Rugby, it’s different – with a mixture of both players coming in and mingling could bring an explosive atmos to Fiji rugby. They are very capable, explosive and very talented.

“It builds depth for the Flying Fijians that’s one thing we have been struggling with, most times we play well in the first 15 but when the reserves come in, there is a bit of gap,” Doge added.

He has played 14 matches for the Dragons where he started in eight games and scoring four tries so far.

“Sometimes we need a bit of rest to readjust, because it’s not easy playing one year of rugby as you can see some boys are coming in with the scars so with the Drua boys coming in it’s a very good mix,” he added.

He was one of the many that went through Fiji’s rugby system from the Deans to provincial.

He was part of the QVS team that won the inaugural Under-18 Deans trophy in 2011 after beating Ratu Navula College, 19-13.

Doge started playing for Ra before he joined Vatukoula, Tailevu and played a number of years for Naitasiri before going to Romania in 2017.

Doge is named on the bench in today’s match against Samoa.

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