Northland Split

Following three months of weekly rugby competition the newly formed Wain­ibuka Rugby Union (WRU) is calling on the Fiji Rugby Union to review its boundary.
12 Jul 2022 12:29
Northland Split
Northland halfback Suluka Tunaka passes the ball during their Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship clash against Tailevu. Northland has been relegated to the Vodafone Vanua Championship. Photo: Leon Lord

Following three months of weekly rugby competition the newly formed Wain­ibuka Rugby Union (WRU) is calling on the Fiji Rugby Union to review its boundary.

WRU chairman Rajendra Pras­ad yesterday confirmed that they would be dropping in at 35 Gordon Street in Suva this week to clarify issues regarding their application to be part of next season’s B-Division competition (now known as the Vodafone Va­nua Championship).

Prasad is no stranger to rugby as he was a founding member of the Northland Rugby Union along with the late Ratu Meli Vesikula, Simione Naiduki and Epeli Lagiloa to mention a few.

“It is unfortunate that for a fact Northland have not had club competition since March, that was when the chiefs of the tiki­na Wainibuka starting with the yavusa Naloto (from Naivicula) right up to Naibulini (yavusa Nailega) met to have the rugby competition up in Nayavu,” Prasad said.

“Rightfully the roots or the base for Northland is defunct only the top is working where only a collective of players with­out competition and proper se­lection process for their Skipper Cup matches,” he said.

“We are from Northland, we live in Korovou, and there was no Annual General Meeting this year.

“When young men are idle and not engaged in any sports activi­ty there can be social challenges and unnecessary urban drift.

“NRU is now deviating from its initial course, the composition of the team no longer boast the presence of those from Tailevu North.

“The chiefs were concerned and a group of us volunteered to avail our resources and time to get competition going; we started with a 10s tournament and we’ve had three months of weekly competition for seniors, Under-19 and women competi­tion.

“We now have netball competi­tion included every Saturday.”

WRU now boasts the affiliation of 16 men’s, six Under-19 and four women’s teams. For netball, there are 16 teams.

The vanua-based NRU was for­malised in 2002 and has been on the FRU listing since 2003.


Apart from the five yavusa that are now breaking away to form WRU, the other eight con­sisted of the yavusa of Verata, Namalata, Tai, Vugalei, Tai Vu­galei, Sawakasa, Namena and Dawasamu ( 57 villages).

Northland president Livai Driu yesterday acknowledged WRU’s intention to break away from NRU.

WRU had sent a letter to NRU on June 7 seeking the release of tikina Wainibuka clubs affili­ated with them.

Following their relegation to B-division, Driu is optimistic that they will regroup to return to the major division.

Fiji Rugby Union chief execu­tive officer John O’Connor con­firmed receiving a letter from WRU regarding their intention to be excluded from NRU and to be considered to be part of the Vodafone Vanua championship next year.

“We have informed them (WRU) that it is impossible for them to be part of the championship as we have 16 unions in that compe­tition now,” O’Connor said.

“In the current FRU boundary, Wainibuka is part of Northland. They need to follow that pro­cedure; that is to present their intention during the Northland AGM,” he said.

Prasad said: “How can we when Northland Rugby have not had their AGM even for this year, how they are operating baffles us. There is no competition to justify their existence.

“We have the number of 26 teams of 23 registered players and we now have 600 rugby play­ers and a regular competition.”

Meanwhile, invitations have been sent out to the Wainibuka fraternity of the Wainibuka Sports Carnival (sevens and netball) during the Fiji Day weekend in October where each yavusa: Naloto, Wailevu, Nasau­toka, Nayavu and Nailega will fundraise for their 2023 budget.

“We meet every Tuesday and after tomorrow’s (today) meet­ing we are coming to Suva to see the FRU CEO,” he added.


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