Drua Rising

Image Credit: Fijian Drua Official

With Round One of the Australian conference only 5 weeks away , our national pride, The Fijian Drua continues to intensify training and keeping a low profile at Lennox Head.

Over the last 3 months, Simon Raiwalui and the Drua have managed to assemble a group with a hard n aggressive edge that will allow the Drua to play to their strengths even though they missed out on several targets.

A selection of regional players in specific positions to compliment our local talent,  the Drua will have a foundation to align structure and organization and allow our flair and evasive running style to be at the forefront of our game.

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With Covid dictating Super Rugby into two conferences for a second season, the Fijian Drua will take it as a positive, thus allowing them to build momentum in the weaker of the two conferences, giving our group of young and upcoming prospects to stake their claim in Super rugby before the cross over format takes place in April.

Mick Byrne and Simon Raiwalui both experienced with the Australian Wallabies. Their wisdom and guidance will be instrumental in shaping our programs around an exciting bunch of talent to build the spine of our team, game drivers and decision makers to fuse energy and cohesion.

The Drua have assembled in a short period of time against all odds a balance of young guns, the future, underneath some experienced players and I am of the opinion they have a unique opportunity to make history and not finish last in their initial season like the Sunwolves , Southern Kings , Rebels and Western Force .

Team Drua have some special talent that will ensure their competitiveness but much of our success will depend on the physicality in the pack and their competitive nature at the breakdown .

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They have some mongrel upfront with Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Haereiti Hetet, Samu Tawake, hooker Tevita Ikanivere, experienced Mesulame Dolokoto, hard working Zuriel Togiatama,  rugged forwards Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Nemani Nagusa and Ratu Rotuisolia. Some hungry and pacy loosies in Rusiate Nasove, Meli Derenalagi, Kitione Salawa Jnr, Vilive MiramiraIsoa Nasilasila and Joseva Tamani .

Adding Bayden Kerr to our halves, gives us options in the command centre and help ease Teti Tela back from rehab and give Tuidraki Samusamuvodre and Napolioni Boloca the space to find their feet .

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Mick Byrne and his coaching staff will know that if the Drua can get on the outside of their opposition,  they have some pace and firepower out wide that will make their mark in Onisi Ratave, Kitione Ratu, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou and league convert Selestino Ravutaumada.

Two trials have been confirmed with the Western Force in Ballina on 30th Jan and then a fortnight later against Melbourne Rebels , Melbourne on 10th February. 

The Fijian Drua open their Super Rugby campaign on Fri , Feb 18th against the Waratahs at CommBank Stadium, Parramatta.

Originally published in the Fiji Rugby Players Forum Facebook Group.

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