Male welcomes contract for Fijiana Drua players
10 March, 2023, 2:15 pm
ROOSTER Chicken Fijiana Drua head coach Inoke Male has welcomed the move to provide contracts to his players ahead of the Super W competition.
The Fiji Rugby Union, in partnership with PacificAus Sports and the Australian government, last month offered contracts to the Fijiana players for the nine-week Super W competition.
“It is a good move by FRU and the board especially trying to create an equal playing field for women’s rugby,” Male said.
The Fijiana Drua is the defending champion and will face the Brumbies, Waratahs, Rebels and the Force.
The former Fiji international believes it won’t be an easy task leading almost a new group of players into the competition as defending champions.
“Last year we were unknown and now we are defending the Super W trophy with half of them new to the competition,” Male said.
“Our preparations are going well and all the overseas girls are here and are responding well in training.” He said going into the competition, the morale in the camp was high.
“We will treat every game as our final and this season. We want to focus more on our phase play and ball retention so that we can inject our Fijian flair on the pitch.” When asked who would be some of the lookout players for the team, Male named recently signed Fijiana XVs prop Siteri Rasolea and former ACT Brumbies prop Ana Korovata.
“Rasolea played well in the (Women’s Rugby) World Cup last year but this will be her first Drua outing and will be pairing with Ana Korovata.
“Our first warm up match is against Rhino Academy which is coached by Waisale Serevi on March 15.”
Male wished well for departed players Vika Matarugu, Jiowana Sauto, Roela Radiniyavuni, Kolora Rosi Lomani, Merewalesi Rokouno and Reijieli Uluinayau who are no longer part of the Fijiana Drua as they have moved to clubs abroad.
“(It’s a) blessing to women’s rugby for girls that have moved to greener pastures and also we can continue to groom our local girls to move up to the next level in which some of these players will wear the Fijiana Drua jersey for the very first time.”
The Fijiana get their campaign started against the Brumbies at Prince Charles Park on March 25. Meanwhile, the Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua launched their new team jersey for the 2023 Super W season in Lami on Wednesday which also marked International Women’s Day.