Fiji Rugby Board of Trustees is in talks to integrate the Fijiana Drua team into the Counter Ruck team, following the model implemented by other Super Rugby franchises, as it considered options that will help improve pathways for women’s rugby in the country.
Trustees chairperson Peter Mazey said talks have begun, and a meeting with Counter Ruck management is planned for next week to discuss the possibility further.
Counter Ruck Pte Limited, established by the FRU, is the owner and operator of the Fijian Drua team. The FRU and the Fijian Government are the shareholders of Counter Ruck.
This will allow Rugby House to allocate needed resources and attention to the Fijiana XVs, ensuring the well-being of the players and avoiding a repeat of the events that transpired during their tour of Australia, including the payment of outstanding allowance totaling $170,000.
“We have to find – $170,000 – about $200,000 to pay our girls because they hadn’t been paid [because someone did not follow policy],” Trustee member Jenny Seeto said. “That 200K we don’t have at the moment…we will find the money to pay [them], but it just might take a bit of time to actually find the money.”
The trustees will be meeting with the Fijiana players in Suva, at a time to be confirmed as they await the arrival of a number of their senior players who are expected to arrive into the country next week, to discuss their concerns as well as gather their thoughts and input on the broader plans for women’s rugby in Fiji.