The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua has promoted five players who were part of their development group last year to the main squad ahead of the 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season.
The five who have penned full-time multi-year contracts with the Drua include halfback Philip Baselala, winger Taniela Rakuro, and former Fiji U20 captain Motikiai Murray who had played for the Drua in Super Rugby Pacific on short-term contracts in the previous season. Joining them in 2024 are lock Sailosi Vukalokalo, and fly-half Isikeli Rabitu who impressed with their skills and adaptability to professional rugby.
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua General Manager Rugby Nico Andrade echoed the club’s commitment to developing local talent and building a strong Fijian Drua for the future.
He said, “The club has invested significantly in the setting up of the Drua Development group with a clear objective – to bring in talented young players identified in partnership with Fiji Rugby and prepare them for life as a professional rugby player.
“Today’s announcement, alongside the previously announced upgrade of Livai Natave to the main squad proves that we’re on the right track to building a strong Fijian Drua for the future.”
Baselala made two appearances for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua in 2023, and Rakuro, seven times with four tries. Murray made his maiden Super Rugby Pacific appearance in the Drua’s historic first quarter-final appearance against the Crusaders last season. Rabitu, 19, bolstered into the scene from the secondary school competition – having impressed whilst with Suva Grammar, and also represented Fiji in the Under 20s last year. Vukalokalo, a former QVS-MBHS scholar, also came through school-grade rugby. He was part of the World Rugby Pacific Combine in 2022 and the Fiji Warriors team the same year.