Australian rugby legend salutes Fijian development

Fiji Drua hooker Mesulame Dolokoto goes in for his try against Queensland Country in the NRC final in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

AUSTRALIAN rugby legend Phil Waugh believes the Fiji Airways Drua team adds a new dimension to the National Rugby Championship (NRC).

The former Wallabies open side flanker watched the Drua and the Queensland Country final at Lautoka’s Churchill Park on Saturday.

He was impressed with the performance of the Fijian players.

He said the great entertainers of rugby offered a unique style of game that made the competition exciting.

Waugh said the trademark running rugby complemented by the physical approach separated the Drua from other teams in the competition.

“I thought the Fijians played extremely well and obviously renowned for their running rugby,” he said.

“But their set piece, particularly the scrums and breakdown were too good. They offer a lot to the competition and they play the game very different compared to other teams.

“It is a great experience to all Aussies team, especially the standard set by Fiji.”

Waugh said the inclusion of the Drua side in the NRC would lift the standard of local competition.

“The Drua’s inclusion will be great for Fiji Rugby and it is fantastic to see the game grow in the islands.” Country head coach Rob Seib echoed same sentiments.

“Fiji really deserves the victory. They have a very mobile pack and they perform very well.

“We expected a hard game with lots of good tries scored and I knew it will go down the wire.

“They are a fantastic attacking team and it was a joy to watch, but we will be back with an improved outing next season.”

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