Background Buzz – Fijian Drua players who I think can make the Flying Fijians squad to the Rugby World Cup in France – 5 June 2023

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Okay sports fans, on “Background Buzz” today I am going to name my Fijian Drua players who I think can make the Flying Fijians squad to the Rugby World Cup in France starting on Friday 08 September 2023.

Okay sports fans, on “Background Buzz” today I am going to name my Fijian Drua players who I think can make the Flying Fijians squad to the Rugby World Cup in France starting on Friday 08 September 2023.

So, apart from the Fiji Rugby Union being declared illegal and disbanded by the Attorney General of Fiji, all the directors forced to resign and the Annual General Meeting cancelled, the RWC2023 is on in less than 99 days!

Oh and the FRU is, er . . . probably technically insolvent!

Thankfully Fiji Water is sponsoring the Flying Fijians RWC2023 campaign to the tune of $3.8Million.

Rugby House estimates are, that the RWC2023 campaign will cost F$6M so everyone expects . . er the government to pick up the $2.2M difference.

So here goes; everything is normal in rugby in Fiji – seriously when you think about what has been achieved so far this year against the shambolic disaster at Rugby House, it is truly quite amazing – miraculous some would say:

  • The Fijiana Drua has won the Super W Championship in Australia for the second year in a row!
  • The Fijian Drua has qualified for a Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final in only their second year in the comp.
  • On the way, they claimed the scalps of some serious southern hemisphere rugby powerhouses in – the Reds, the Hurricanes and the Crusaders!
  • The Fiji Mens 7s team has qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 and the Fiji Women’s 7s team will also shortly do so.
  • Our Fiji Women’s XVs team played very well in their first ever Women’s RWC in New Zealand late last year.

So back to my selection; the Flying Fijians squad marches into camp in July for their Pacific Nations Cup games against Tonga in Lautoka on 22 July, followed by Manu Samoa in Apia on 29 July and a Test in Tokyo against the Cherry Blossoms a week later.

After this, they will return to Fiji, where Head Coach, Simon Raiwalui and his assistants will name their final RWC2023 squad of 33 players.

My 15 Fijian Drua players who I feel can make this squad are:

  • Props: Haereiti Hetet and Samuela Tawake
  • Hookers: Mesulame Dolokoto and Tevita Ikanivere                
  • Lock: Isoa Nasilasila                             
  • Back row: Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Kitione Salawa and Joseva Tamani who is equally good in the second row 
  • Scrumhalf: Frank Lomani and Peni Matawalu             
  • Flyhalf: Caleb Muntz and Teti Tela      
  • Centre: Iosefo Masi                           
  • Back three: Kalaveti Ravouvou and Selesitino Ravutaumada  

One more thing – I feel it would be a very smart move, as well as very deserving, for Simon and the FRU to invite Mick Byrne into the Flying Fijians coaching team as an assistant, even if just as a consultant.

Mick Byrne is a very big reason why this Fijian Drua team is in the Super Rugby Pacific quarter finals in only its second year – as such, he is probably the Super Rugby Pacific Coach of the Year!

And that’s a wrap!

For TeivovoSports.com I’m Culden Kamea – please hit the like and subscribe buttons below if you want to receive more Pasifika sports highlights on Breakfast Bites.

Mahalo, vina’a and tank you all too mass for all your love and support.

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1 thought on “Background Buzz – Fijian Drua players who I think can make the Flying Fijians squad to the Rugby World Cup in France – 5 June 2023”

  1. SITIVENI VASU

    I totally agree with what has been said from the players,to the Drua coach,to be part of the flying Fijian team come worldcup,,,,,but I would suggest if the Drua team and other prospective overseas based players to represent Fiji,should first play each other than make the final fijian team to the world cup

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