Eight overseas-based players in Fijian Drua squad for Super W

Fijiana Drua’s 30-member squad, recently confirmed to play in Rugby Australia’s women’s Super Rugby competition, is made of 22 local players, including seasoned captain Sereima Leweniqila, and eight who ply their trade overseas.

Coached by former Fijian Drua head coach Senirusi Seruvakula, all Fiji-based squad members have been part of Fiji Rugby Union’s provincial competition set-up since 2019, while the overseas-based players include New Zealand-based Jade Tayla, Ro Silo Togotorua, Kolora Lomani, England’s Raijieli Laqeretabua, Australia’s Leonie Burnes, Vani Arei and Japan-based former Fijiana 7s reps Jiowana Sauto and Timaima Ravisa.

“It’s a mixture of experienced and young players and we as a team have been looking forward to the historic moment where we will be rubbing shoulders with some of the great Australian players,” Seruvakula said of his squad.

“We have been in our own bubble for the past three weeks and we have also been training after being tested negative. We are looking forward to flying over to Brisbane next week where we will also play our first trial match against the Queensland Reds next Saturday the 19th of February.”

Already in camp are Japan-based duo Sauto and Ravisa while the other six will join the squad in Brisbane, Australia.

The inclusion of the overseas-based players, Seruvakula says is a plus for the side with the Australian-based reps expected to be familiar with the competition regime having played in the Super W, whilst those in NZ have experience from playing in the ITM Cup. Laqeretabua plays in Saracens in the Allianz Premier 15s.

Seruvakula heads a coaching panel that has been largely by his side since 2019 in Michael Legge and Inoke Male as assistant backs and assistant forwards coach respectively. Sanaila Vitau and Tavaita Rowati make up the trainers pack with Ratu Isimeli Veigisigisi as team physio. Josua Vuto is team analyst and Talei Mow is team manager.

Photo: Fiji Rugby

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