The Fijiana Drua Women’s rugby team has officially come under the management of Counter Ruck Pte Limited, the same organisation overseeing the Fijian Drua.
They will be named the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women following an agreement signed in Suva today, with no specified end date, ensuring the women’s team benefits from the Super Rugby Pacific club’s resources, including its training facility, for the 2024 Super W season.
The women’s team will have its coaching staff and receive high-performance assistance from specialised club coaches. They will also use the club’s team management, logistics, welfare, and commercial functions.
Peter Mazey, Fiji Rugby Union Trust Board Chair, welcomed the handover, highlighting alignment with the Drua Men and allowing the Union to focus on grassroots development and national teams, including Fijiana Women’s XVs.
Leading up the signing at Suva Business Centre today, Counter Ruck Limited and Fijian Drua CEO Mark Evans said the discussions and negotiations were extensive as part of efforts to ensure the partnership is done right.
“Having both the Men’s and Women’s team in a ‘One Club’ model has proven to be successful for most Super Rugby Pacific sides and we’ll be the same. We fully understand the responsibilities we now have for the Women’s team. We will ensure they benefit from resources at our disposable. They are back-to-back Super W defending champions and we will spare no effort in preparation as we aim for a three-peat.”
The next steps involve jointly appointing coaching and management staff for the Drua Women, with player selection and contracts following. Preparation for the 2024 Super W season will start proper after staff appointments.
The Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women will open their Super W campaign on March 17 against the Queensland Reds at Brisbane Ballymore Stadium.
Meanwhile, the added responsibility does not change the ownership of Counter Ruck with the Fiji Government owning 51% and FRU, 49%.