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The Fijian Drua is a rugby union team based in Fiji that competes in the Australian National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team was created by the Fiji Rugby Union and launched in August 2017, shortly before the 2017 National Rugby Championship.[1]

Fijian Drua
Fijian Drua logo.jpg
UnionFiji Rugby Union
Founded2017
Ground(s)ANZ Stadium, Suva (Cap: 15,000)
Churchill Park, Lautoka (Cap: 18,000)
Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka (Cap: 12,000)
Coach(es)Senirusi Seruvakula
Captain(s)Eremasi Radrodro
League(s)National Rugby Championship               
2018Champions
1st placed (regular season)
Team kit
Drua flyhalf Alivereti Veitokani in NRC 2017.

HistoryEdit

In July 2017, the Fiji Rugby Union announced that they would enter a team in the Australian domestic National Rugby Championship from the 2017 season onwards following successful negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union,[2] with home matches being played in Suva as well as regional cities Lautoka and Sigatoka. On 25 July, Senirusi Seruvakula was named as the head coach of the team for their inaugural season,[3] and a few days later the first players were invited to a training camp.[4]

The team's name, logo and kit was revealed on 16 August 2017, with the FRU announcing that the team would be known as the Fijian Drua.[1]

In their first year of competition in NRC 2017, the Drua won three of their first four matches to be well placed at the mid point of the season, but then lost three of their remaining four matches to finish in third place.[5] The team was well beaten by the eventual Champions Queensland Country in their semifinal.[6]

The Drua finished on top of the table after the regular season in the following year, losing only one match away to Queensland Country. In the last round they won the Horan-Little Shield by defeating Perth Spirit away in Perth,[7] before beating Canberra Vikings in their semifinal at home in Lautoka. In the final, played at the same venue a week later, the Drua avenged their previous losses to Queensland Country with a 36–26 win to take the 2018 National Rugby Championship title.[8]

Name and coloursEdit

The team is named after the drua, a traditional Fijian double canoe that served as warships in naval battles. The team's logo pictures a drua stylised inside a rugby ball, to symbolise Fijian players' speed, agility and flair. The Fijian Drua colours are sky blue, black and white.

SponsorshipEdit

Fiji Airways is the principal sponsor for the Drua, signing a five-year deal in late 2017.[9] ISC is their kit manufacturer.[1] The team is also sponsored by Paradise Beverages, with the Fiji Gold Beer logo and the Ratu Rum brand appearing on the sleeves and back of the jersey.[10]

Current squadEdit

The squad for the 2019 NRC season:

Fijian Drua squad – NRC 2019[A]
Notes:
  1. ^ From the initial 32-man squad announced in late August, a match-day squad of 24 players travelled to Australia for the opening game,[13] while the remaining three forwards (Koroiduadua, Sauvoli and Navuma) [14] and five backs (Matawalu, Narequva, Wainiqolo, Waqanibau and Raoba) [15] trained in Fiji.
  2. ^ a b c Makutu, Naulago and Camaitovu joined the squad when named in the lineup for Round 6.[11]
  3. ^ Waqatabu joined the squad when named in the team for Round 7.[12]
Bold denotes player is internationally capped. (c) Denotes team captain. 1 denotes marquee player.
 
Fly-half Serupepeli Vularika.
 
Hooker Ratunaisa Navuma.
 
Winger Ifereimi Tovilevu.
 
Prop Joeli Veitayaki Jnr.

RecordsEdit

HonoursEdit

Season standingsEdit

National Rugby Championship

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts   Play-offs
2018 1st 7 6 0 1 283 175 +108 3 27   Grand final win over Queensland Country by 36-26
2017 3rd 8 4 0 4 261 245 +16 6 22   Semi-final loss to Queensland Country by 57–21

Head coachesEdit

CaptainsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "FRU Reveals Fiji NRC Official Name and Kit" (Press release). Fiji Rugby Union. 16 August 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  2. ^ "FRU joins 2017 National Rugby Championship" (Press release). Fiji Rugby Union. 21 July 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Seruvakula Appointed NRC Coach" (Press release). Fiji Rugby Union. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  4. ^ "NRC Extended Squad to March into Camp" (Press release). Fiji Rugby Union. 6 August 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ McKay, Brett (28 October 2017). "Rays pip Drua in Suva". Rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 1 November 2017.
  6. ^ Scambler, Tom (7 November 2017). "Defence key to Queensland Country's remarkable NRC turnaround". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Sport: Fijian Drua eye NRC glory after securing minor premiership". Radio New Zealand. 15 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019.
  8. ^ Robinson, Georgina (27 October 2018). "Fijian Drua clinch NRC title with win over Queensland Country". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019.
  9. ^ "28 August 2019". The Blue Swan Daily. 12 October 2017. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019.
  10. ^ Nath, Rachel (25 August 2017). "Fijian Drua receives major boost". FBC News. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Melbourne Rising vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 5 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Drua team named for Queensland Country clashua team named for Queensland Country clash". FBC News. 10 October 2019. Archived from the original on 11 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Seruvakula names his first traveling squad for NRC opener". Fiji Rugby. Archived from the original on 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Fijian Drua: Forwards". Fiji Rugby. 27 August 2019. Archived from the original on 27 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Fijian Drua Backs". Fiji Rugby. Archived from the original on 27 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Seruvakula Appointed NRC Coach". Fiji Sun. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Duo for Drua". Fiji Sun. 8 July 2018. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  18. ^ Nasokia, Waisea (22 August 2019). "Eremasi Radrodro leads Fijian Drua to the National Rugby Championship". The Fiji Sun. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Koka leads Drua". Fiji Sun. 22 August 2018. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Stewart Leads Drua". Fiji Sun. 29 August 2017. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.

External linksEdit