FRENCH rugby club Brive is all set to open an academy at Ratu Navula College in Nadi.
This was confirmed by Brive rugby director Nicolas Godignon who said he had received the licence to operate the academy.
He said after many visits and discussions, they saw Ratu Navula as their best option and had already started the paper work.
"On my next visit, I will confirm everything and get all the paperwork done and get everything sorted out according to Fijian law," Godignon said.
"We have already discussed this with the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union and they are happy with the news and we are ready to work with the government and the French Embassy."
He said it was a long-term project that would focus on moulding professional players that could later secure contracts in France.
"The academy will start in February 2015 when school starts and we will pick 25 players to be part of the academy.
"By November, we will confirm everything from training program to coaches and players so that they can start the academy in February. The academy will focus on training and guiding the players to become professional players so that they can improve their playing career.
"The French Embassy will help with language classes so that the players know French beforehand in case they need to go to France.
"The players would stay in classes they normally do but would need to take extra classes for French which would be six hours in a week."
Brive player and former Flying Fijian Sisa Koyamaibole said the academy was a long-term project that would benefit rugby in Fiji.
"This was Nicolas' 10-year dream which is slowly becoming reality and it's all because of the impact that Fijian players have had on France," he said.
"We are not here to poach players but we are thinking of their future and if they go through the program, they can also do further studies in France and follow in the footsteps of some well-known players."
Other players currently contracted to Brive are Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Malakai Bakaniceva, Sevanaia Galala, Venione Voretamaya and Benito Masilevu.