The Buildcorp Super W competition will be bolstered in 2022, with the Fijiana Drua to join Australia’s premier Women’s XV Rugby competition.
Supported by the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports program, the Fijiana Drua join the Western Force, Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and Brumbies as the competition joins Harvey Norman Super Rugby in expanding into the Pacific.
The sides participation comes ahead of a monumental year for Women’s Rugby, with the World Cup set to kick off in New Zealand in October.
The Australian Government has previously supported the Fijiana during their two-match tour of Australia in 2020, where they played both the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs in pre-season matches.
The Fijiana will be based in Australia for the duration of the 2022 Buildcorp Super W season, providing unparalleled match exposure and international competition for Fijian players.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “I’d like to thank Foreign Minister Payne, Minister Seselja and their staff at DFAT for all of their support in helping bring the Fijiana to our shores.
“Buildcorp Super W is one of the leading women’s XVs products in Rugby, and to be able to expand the competition to involve the Fijiana Drua will not only aid in their growth as a Rugby nation but also in providing more opportunities for our players.
“We look forward to seeing that familiar Fijian flair being displayed by both the Fijiana in Buildcorp Super W and the Fijian Drua in Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to support Women’s Rugby, whether it’s the Sevens or XVs format of our game – it’s an exciting 12 months for women’s Rugby coming up, and I’d encourage everyone to get out and support.”
Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, said Australia’s support to the Fijiana reflected the strength of the relationship with Fiji.
“Now more than ever we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Pacific family,” Minister Seselja said.
“Building on our support to the Fijian Drua men’s team playing in Super Rugby Pacific, we are proud to continue our support for Fiji’s incredible sporting talent, and help the Fijiana Drua women’s XVs make this step into the Super W.”
The Fiji Rugby Union CEO, John Masi OConnor thanked Rugby Australia for this great opportunity.
“We are humbled and sincerely thankful to the Board and Management of Rugby Australia for this great opportunity.
“This is also historical for Fiji Rugby and for Rugby in Fiji and will provide pathway opportunity for our young girls and woman in Fiji.
“We are excited with this great opportunity since it will continue to enhance the growth of woman’s rugby in Fiji and the competitiveness of all our Women’s National Team.
“We also sincerely acknowledge and thank the Australian Government through the PacificAus Sports program for their support in our inclusion into the Super W Competition.”
Fiji Rugby Union General Manager, High Performance Simon Raiwalui said: “Fijiana’s inclusion into Buildcorp Super W has come off the back of a lot of hard work and persistence from all parties involved.
“The competition is stepping into its next stage of its evolution and it’s great to have Fijiana not only representing Women’s Rugby in Fiji but Women’s Rugby in the Pacific when they step out onto the field in round one.
“Our aim is to give as many opportunities to Fijian based talent as we can, and this announcement certainly comes as another step in that direction.”
by Harrison Wakeling, https://oceania.rugby