Drua Players Work On Executing Skills Under Pressure: Byrne

The combination of strength and skill help athletes to reach their maximum potential , this has been the biggest learning for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s first Super Rugby Pacific.
02 Sep 2022 04:00
Drua Players Work On Executing Skills Under Pressure: Byrne
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Warriors hooker Tevita Ikanivere training at Bidesi Park on August 30, 2022 . Photo: Ronald Kumar

The combination of strength and skill help athletes to reach their maximum potential , this has been the biggest learning for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s first Super Rugby Pacific.

“While there have been a lot of lessons learnt the greatest learning is the importance of strength and conditioning for the players,” Drua head coach Mick Byrne said.

Byrne was at Bidesi Park on Tuesday watching the Swire Shipping Fijian Warriors training.


Drua players have started their training at different locations; Suva, Sigatoka and Nadi before they march into pre-season camp in October.

“While the Drua boys have started training, it’s great to come and have a look at the Warriors,” he said.

“They are going really well, they played really well last week and it’s just great to sit back as an observer and just taking the time to have a good look.”

Warriors thumped Manuma Samoa last Saturday 60-10 at the HFC Bank stadium.


For the Drua side, Byrne said they need to be fit.

“We certainly got the talent. We just need to be able to execute our skills under pressure, something we learned about at the Super Rugby,” he said.

“Line speed of defense against us, our ability to play at the game line – from our tackles, our ability to get around the corners and set up early, come forward in defense.


Domestic Training Environment

“The Drua players are doing three days a week in the gym and one day out on the field starting the running process.”

Meanwhile Flying Fijians forward Mesake Doge and Olympic gold medalist Iosefo Masi are the latest inclusion to the Drua squad preparing for the new Super Rugby season.

“It’s no secret that Drua is a pathway for young rugby players on the island and we’re certainly looking to grow our squad. So we’re really here looking at this now it’s just great to see the young players (Warriors) here.”


“We just had the Super Rugby conference last week and I spoke to the Chiefs coach and he was very happy that he got to play us in our first year in Fiji and didn’t have to come in the second year.”

“And I think that’s one of the things that is going to be an advantage next year is also the fact that teams were really on edge when they played us. They weren’t sure what was going to come.”

“To be fair sometimes as the coach of the Fiji Drua, I didn’t know what was going come, so it’s always a good place to but we want our players to express themselves and that’s what we want to do moving forward and we play exciting rugby and as I said once we get our conditioning, we’ll be able to stay in the game for 80 minutes.”


“We started off with a large group of players that were assigned for the two years so we don’t expect a big squad turnover.”

“We will wait for the Warriors. Give a few of the young guys a chance to come in and train with us. We’ll make a call later in the year on what might happen from there.”

Drua is expected to host six home games in Fiji in the next season as they will be based here.


“I think all our home games it’ll be great. This year was a little bit unique in that we were playing away from home and we came home for like two.

“I know teams are looking forward to coming over.

“Professionalism is new to all our players. It’s been a big learning this year around what they put into their body affects their output on the field.”

“Discipline is there for us to change habits our conditioning areas and also on the field just to work and again it comes back to conditioning.”


“Sometimes we didn’t get back on site because we just were early in the game. There are no excuses and we have addressed what we believe and discipline issues on the field got better as the year unfolds.”

“As I have said every team has discipline up on the board and we’re no different.”

Strength and conditioning coaches


“When I started a long time ago the S & C coaches were separate area and you went to the gym and you got stronger and now there’s a real functional area of this S & C role so you’re getting strong, but you got to get strong for rugby.”

“There are a lot of things we can do in the gym now to help our players get strong for rugby and also conditioning wise.”

“The conditioning aspect of the game now is a lot.”

“You need to be quicker around the field over longer distances, especially for our top five players and top five players are going to be fitter now than what they need to be.”



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