Evans thanks predecessor as he takes on Fijian Drua CEO role

Fijian Drua’s new chief executive Mark Evans thanked his predecessor Brian Thorburn as he takes over the reins of leading the local Super Rugby Pacific franchise’s campaign in the forthcoming 2023 season, for their second outing in the competition.

Boasting an extraordinary career that has seen him transition from a player to managing some of the big teams in the global rugby arena including Australian Super Rugby clubs Melbourne Storm and Western Force, as well as English clubs Harlequins and Saracens, Evans arrives in Fiji aware of the passion Fijians have for the sport.

Three days since arriving in the country, in what is also his second time to Fiji, Evans convened his first official media engagement in the country’s capital city Suva today during which he laid out his plans for the club over the course of his 3-year tenure.

“I’m delighted to be here, and I must give credit to the progress Brian Thorburn has made to date, it has been incredibly impressive. Being a start-up club in your first year and having to operate entirely outside your home market is extraordinarily difficult. I don’t when they will come to write the history of this team, which one day they will, and I hope they don’t underestimate how difficult that first year was and how the players, coaches, and administration involved with the Drua really stepped up. So, I just want to pay tribute to all the people who got us this far.”

Looking ahead, Evans added: “This year we’re hoping to execute six games, three in Suva and three in Lautoka. We know what the Super Rugby Pacific is all about and I’m hopeful that we can take it up another level in years to come and make significant progress not just on the field but off the field as well. You got to get everything right and we want to get better at all levels.  With any luck, each year we will progress or at least in some places, then in time we can look back and say we’ve become the first professional sports team on the island, and everything has worked out.” 

In welcoming Evans, Thornburn said: “It’s been an incredible ride but I’m absolutely thrilled to be passing the baton to Mark Evans as the permanent CEO of the Fijian Drua. Mark has an extraordinary career in sports having been both a player and a coach, so he is extremely well-experienced, with outstanding credentials and we were delighted to persuade him to join our Drua vuvale for this important position.”

Thorburn is expected to rejoin the Fiji Rugby Union as its commercial director.

Mark Evans Brief Bio

Feb 2021 – date: Capacity Consulting
Oct 2019 – Feb 2021: CEO – Global Rapid Rugby and Western Force

Jan 2016 – Sep 2019: Capacity Consulting
Sep 2015 – Dec 2015: National Rugby League (NRL) – short-term contract

Apr 2013 – Jul 2015: CEO – Melbourne Storm
Apr 2011 – Apr 2013: Capacity Consulting
May 2000 – Apr 2011: CEO – Harlequins FC
1999 – 2000: Director of Corporate Development – Saracens FC

1996 – 1999: Director of Rugby – Saracens FC

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