Drua confirmed for 2022 Super Rugby
April 14, 2021 4:58 pm
The Fijian Drua will make its Super Rugby debut next year.
Fiji’s dream of having its own Super Rugby team has finally come true today after New Zealand Rugby announced in a press conference in Auckland that the Drua and Moana Pasifika are the two new teams.
The Fiji Rugby Union was over the moon today with FRU Chair Conway Begg saying it’s a special day for the country.
“Today New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the license will be issued to the Fijian Drua from 2022 onwards to participate in a 12 team expanded Super Rugby competition, with five NZ teams, five Australia teams, the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika”.
The Drua will play about five or six games in Fiji with the ANZ Stadium and Churchill Park in Lautoka as the preferred venues.
FRU Chief Executive John O’Connor says now players will not have to travel thousands of miles to play professional rugby.
“Every kid now can dream of becoming a professional player and remaining in Fiji to play for the Drua rather than leaving their families behind to play in overseas”.
Moana Pasifika and the Drua were announced in November as New Zealand Rugby’s preferred partners to join an expanded 12-team competition in 2022, subject to a range of conditions, which included being able to raise at least seven million US dollars to prove they can be financially sustainable.
World Rugby last month committed about FJD$5 million in funding over the next three years to help fund the Drua and Moana Pasifika.
Moana Pasifika will be initially based in South Auckland while the Fijian Drua is expected to play the bulk of their home matches in Suva, provided international travel borders are reopened.
Both teams will contract at least 37 players for their maiden campaign.
Meanwhile, most of the players that are expected to play for the Drua will be in action on Saturday in round two of Skipper Cup.
Nadi takes on Naitasiri in the Farebrother challenge at Prince Charles Park on Saturday at 3pm.
In other matches, Northland faces Tailevu at Nakelo District School ground, Nadroga meets Namosi at Thompson Park in Navua and Suva battles Rewa at Burebasaga ground.