‘Fijiana Drua’ – Fiji Rugby: Big future for women

Fiji Rugby Union CEO, John O'Connor speaks to the media during a press conference at the Fiji Rugby Union boardroom in Suva on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

A big future is in store for women’s rugby in the country with plans in the pipeline for two major tournaments as well as a push to put a team into Australia’s Super W competition.

“We are in the middle of negotiations to enter a Fijiana Drua team into the Super W competition in Australia,” Fiji rugby head, John O’Connor said after the Fiji Rugby Union annual general meeting at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.

To deliver a team formulated from the cream of domestic women’s rugby to such a platform, two separate local competitions are also set to begin next year.

“The council has endorsed a separate women’s competition, in the Marama’s tournament which will feature eight teams such as Skipper and the B division Ranadi competition mirrored of the Vodafone Vanua championship.”

O’Connor said the need for separate competitions was highlighted to avoid unfair relegation and promotion issues.

“We saw in 2018 where the Malolo women’s team won the women’s Skipper Cup but was relegated because their mens team did not perform well, and we want to avoid that.”

Meanwhile, O’Connor highlighted the union managed to save on its immediate budget with COVID-19 having an major effect.

“We achieved a surplus of $282,000 compared to $88,000 in 2019, and although we reduced our revenue due to the cancellation of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and other factors due to the pandemic allowed us to save.”

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