Baselala awarded full-time Drua contract

January 24, 2023 12:21 pm

Philip Baselala and Livai Natave. [Photo Supplied]

18-year-old star half-back Philip Baselala has signed a full-time contract with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua.

Baselala alongside Flying Fijians prop Livai Natave have been awarded the contracts and are being drafted into the main Drua squad.

Both Baselala and Natave were part of Drua’s development squad and have been promoted to bolster the main playing squad at halfback and the front row.

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The progression allows both players to compete for spots in the team’s matchday 23 for this season’s Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Today’s announcement is the culmination of a stellar playing year for Baselala.

At just 18 years and 4 months of age, he becomes one of the youngest players to sign a full Super Rugby Pacific contract.

In 2022, he starred as a halfback for Suva Grammar School in Fiji’s Deans competition, as well as Fiji’s U20 and the Fiji Warriors teams.

He has previously played for Fiji U18.

His inclusion comes as regular Drua halfback, Simione Kuruvoli is ruled out for most of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

It’s a similar rise for young prop Livai Natave.

Natave was drafted into the Drua development group after impressing Suva in the Skipper Cup – Fiji’s premier provincial competition, as well as Army in the prestigious Sukuna Bowl challenge.

Natave made his debut for the Flying Fijians in November’s Northern Tour and has earned three caps.