THE appointment of a new chairman at the Fiji Rugby Union has been welcomed by some of its major affiliates.
Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimoni Waqabaca was elected chairman by the new FRU board, replacing Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.
The appointment, which was announced yesterday, follows a dismal performance by the national sevens and fifteens teams and FRU's poor financial standing, which was highlighted at its annual general meeting last month.
Tailevu Rugby Union committee member Tevita Bolanavanua said Mr Waqabaca was a good choice.
"It is good to see someone with financial and management background coming to lead the FRU. I think it is a good choice," Mr Bolanavanua said.
Northland RU secretary Tevita Kanalagi, a former schoolmate of Mr Waqabaca, said the new chairman's sporting background would be an asset.
"I believe he has good operation and financial management and to have him at the helm is very positive. He holds a very critical post in the government, he is a great person and has some sporting background," Mr Kanalagi said.
"I believe there is no other better person than him to take FRU forward."
Nadroga RU president Tiko Matawalu supported the move.
"We and the rest of the western unions appointed Napolioni Batimala as our nominee to the board. He is there on behalf of us so if he agrees in the appointment, we are all throwing our support to him with the motive of moving rugby forward in Fiji," Matawalu said.
Minor unions Namosi and Ovalau shared similar sentiments.
"We welcome the move. All we ask is for them to also help minor unions like us improve," Ovalau RU spokesman Seresio Druguta said.
"We were against the old board because they wanted to reduce the teams in the major competition which will not help the minor unions, so we are just asking if they could also think of us."
Namosi's Eneriko Cakaunivalu said Waqabaca had their support.
"We support the new chairman and we also believe that he is going to bring a change in FRU. We are asking if the minor unions can also be considered in the selection of the national teams," he said.
He said FRU should consider taking some Digicel cup matches to be played in rural areas.