Editorial comment – Growing the Drua

Fijian Drua trains at the Nadi International School grounds. Picture: SUPPLIED/FILE

It’s good to know the Fijian Drua have set high goals of reaching the elimination stages of the Super Rugby Pacific competition this season.

In fact it’s the way to go.

The Drua finished 11th last season with two wins and 12 losses.

That foray into the competition was the culmination of a vision, and hope that was over 25 years old.

Drua head coach Mick Byrne said last season was about finding their feet against established teams in the competition.

This year, the team hopes to finish the season in the top eight and make the quarter-finals.

Fans will expect that from the coach.

They will anticipate confidence and a willingness to go above and beyond expectations.

So we ask, what place does the Drua hold in the mechanics of rugby development in the country?

Quite an important place we must say!

For when you consider the impact of that first season, especially the response from fans in our home games, it should be quite clear how much the team means to Fijian fans, and subsequently to the game here.

Let’s face it, fans could relate well to the emergence of the Drua.

After years of watching top level Super Rugby games, it was expected that they would lap up the opportunity to back a team of Fijians.

You’ve got to factor in the hype that is part of the competition, the large number of big name players plying their trade in Super Rugby, the calibre of games, and the intensity.

It makes for top quality rugby action.

Then throw in live games, with some of the world’s top players competing right here at home against our Drua, and you’ve got the makings of a top class show.

We have a pathway that allows our local players to live their dreams, and reach out for the stars so to speak.

The opening of the Drua’s home base in Nadi last year, with state-of-the-art facilities rivalling the best in the world is a plus.

So when you factor in good dietary plans, the best in sports training resources, top coaches and trainers on top of analysts and medical staff, you have the foundation for a world class group that can only get better with exposure and experience gained from regular top level competition.

In the end, we have the base for a strong feeder system for the Flying Fijians.

So it was encouraging to see the Drua open up a connection to the development of schoolboy ruggers last year, creating a transition, linking the Deans Trophy competition to Super Rugby.

It’s good for the Drua, for local rugby players, and for the game in Fiji.

This is why we have connected with the Drua as a media partner.

From this deal our readers can expect in-depth reports and videos on the team and we look forward to helping grow the Drua.

We are happy to be part of the journey, and like every fan, hope to see the game grow in Fiji, and that young Fijians have something to look forward to.

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