Byrne to steer Drua’s Super Rugby course

Mick Byrne. Picture: GOOGLE.

New Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne wants to showcase the local Fijian rugby fl are to the world.

In a press conference yesterday Byrne said it would be that brand of exciting rugby that our players and fans love, but with clinical aspects to it in both attack and defence.

“It will be hard work in our first two seasons but the journey will be rewarding and enjoyable,” he said.

“It’s a style of play that puts the joy of rugby at its core, and I’m very excited to help our club showcase this to the world when the new Super Rugby season starts.”

Bryne is the club’s first head coach and has the experience as the assistant and skills coach for the Wallabies, All Blacks, Japan and Scotland over a 23-year rugby union coaching career.

The Australian also brings with him Super Rugby experience as assistant coach of the Auckland Blues from 2012 to 2014.

Prior to rugby, Byrne had a stellar playing and coaching career with the AFL. The initial term of his appointment is for the first two seasons.

“I have followed and admired the way Fijian team plays the game over the course of my coaching career. None of us are under any illusions that it will not be easy. We understand the challenges ahead of us in this first season, being based away from home. “But within that challenge lies the opportunity to grow stronger as a team and a club.

“It will allow us to be patient with our players, help them find their own way and naturally grow into the game we want to play.”

Bryne will be assisted by head of athletics performance Naca Cawanibuka.

“I am really looking forward to working with Naca and other coaching and management staff to get our squad ready to meet the standards required for top level rugby week in, week out. “As a professional competition, Super Rugby is right up there as the most demanding and most expansive.

“It will require massive fitness, skill and conditioning commitment from everyone and Naca’s unique insights and proven ability at the elite level will be invaluable for us.”

As part of ongoing local development, Byrne and the Fijian Drua staff members will map post-season capacity-building programs.

This will include extensive visits to and sessions with the coaching staff of Fiji’s 24 provincial teams who feature in domestic competitions.

The Fijian Drua will announce further coaching appointments in the coming weeks.

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