Deal for 20 – Drua squad to camp in Australia from November 1

Fiji Rugby International Half Back, Simione Kuruvoli (with the ball) has signed for the newly formed Fijian Drua, Super Rugby/The Rugby Championship Team. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Fijian Drua Super Rugby franchise has signed up 20 players out of its targeted 37-member squad for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition.

This was revealed on Monday after the announcement of its first five pioneers in Fiji’s first attempt at the annual international rugby tournament.

The five are Olympics gold medallist Napolioni Bolaca, former Fiji U20 captain Tevita Ikanivere, former Fiji 7s hitman Nemani Nagusa, Flying Fijians halfback Simione Kuruvoli and New Zealand-based Onisi Ratave.

The Fijian Drua will assemble shortly before October 15 before moving into mandatory quarantine in Australia ahead of their training camp which starts from November 1.

Being one of the new kids on the block in the Super Rugby Pacific competition, the Fijian Drua is targeting more than three months preparation with the opening round scheduled for February 18.

Fiji Rugby general manager high performance Simon Raiwalui said they were starting preparations on November 1 because they would have a young squad with a lot of inexperience at Super Rugby level.

“We are starting early in November, so we will have a lot of preparation time of about four months to build the team up and be ready for the Super Rugby Pacific competition,” the former Flying Fijians captain said.

“We have a number of exciting players who have signed up, that is 20 at the moment. On those who have signed, Napolioni Bolaca has his skill set.

“We are very proud of Tevita Ikanivere and Simione Kuruvoli coming through the high performance pathways with Bill Gadolo and his team grooming these players to be ready for Super Rugby, so those two coming through are very talented.”

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