Rugby | SPORTS

No Excuse For Drua

The challenge is on the Fijian Drua to lift their performance and produce results in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific competition.
11 Oct 2022 13:00
No Excuse For Drua
Fijian Drua captain Meli Derenalagi on one of the exercise machines at the Drua Home Base in Nadi with World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, standing left, and Fiji Rugby chairman Humphrey Tawake on October 10, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The challenge is on the Fi­jian Drua to lift their perfor­mance and produce results in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific competi­tion.

This was after World Rugby chair­man Sir Bill Beaumont officially opened the $2million Fijian Drua’s Home Base in Nadi yesterday.

The opening was done in the presence of World Rugby chief executive officer Alan Gilpin, Fiji Rugby board chairman Humphrey Tawake, CEO John O’Connor along with other stakeholders.

The Drua Home Base is fitted with state of the art high performance and recreational facilities for ath­letes and team management, as well as work stations for coaches, medical, analysis and welfare staff.

The club’s CEO, administration, commercial and operations teams are also based at the Drua Home Base.

Fijian Drua head coach Mick By­rne said most Super Rugby clubs in Australia don’t have such facilities.

“The facilities here is only found in NFL clubs,” Bryne said.

Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said: “We needed a home base to launch the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s future Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific campaigns and this facility has what we need.

‘‘We faced many challenges dur­ing our COVID-impacted inaugural season this year. We had to use Len­nox Head in New South Wales, Aus­tralia as a temporary home base, and had to evacuate from there twice due to flooding.

“While Lennox Head was great for us, we’re delighted to be finally set­tled right here in Nadi – truly stay, train and play at home.”



Thorburn is grateful to sponsors and stakeholders for the $2 million investment.

Major sponsor Swire Shipping brought three container loads of set-up equipment, including state-of-the-art gym equipment and an Enforcer scrum machine. Joint sponsor Vinod Patel Home & Living fitted in office equipment and rec­reational facilities.

The entire facility is customised with top level connectivity, by tech­nology giants VT Solutions and Vodafone Fiji.

Signage partners Mogul installed large murals and artwork which now adorn the facilities massive gymnasium space.

This includes a huge Fijian flag measuring over seven metres in length and three metres in height on a feature wall.

Thorburn added: “Assistance and support from our partners, spon­sors, and shareholders for this in­vestment speak volumes to their be­lief and commitment to our young club.”

Sir Bill said: “On behalf of World Rugby we are absolutely delighted to be a contributing factor to the Fi­jian Drua team. I think it is impor­tant for us at World Rugby to come out and see, admire and respect Fijian Rugby. You bring so much to the table, whether it is 15s men, women, or sevens, you are every­body’s second favourite team and everybody else seems to support Fiji.

“The help that, you received from your sponsors and everybody in­volved will enable your players to stay on the island and train here, while playing in top competition.

“It is a true partnership and what I can see is that because of this, Fi­jian Rugby will continue to go from strength to strength, and this will not only improve the Drua, but also improve the national team as well.”



Thorburn added: “Our set up is designed to be flexible while allow­ing the staff to prepare current and future athletes for the rigours of Super Rugby. Being located close to Nadi International Airport and a short drive away from both Church­ill Park and Prince Charles Park is logistically convenient.

“About 65 to 70 per cent of the staff and playing group are moving to Nadi, giving the town a significant economic boost.

“We will be hiring facilities, rent­ing equipment, consuming goods, and services, which will add con­siderable benefits to the surround­ing areas and town.”

The Fijian Drua starts its official pre-season training from the new facility tomorrow, October 12.

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