World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont today opened the Fijian Drua’s FJ$2 million home base in Nadi.
The opening of the franchise’s base camp on Voivoi Road, in Legalega’s industrial, area, comes two days before the club kicks off its preseason.
A Fijian Drua statement said that the base would house high-performance and recreational facilities for athletes, team management, offices for the coaches, and medical, analysis, and welfare staff. The club’s CEO, administration, commercial, and operations teams would also be based there.
“Major sponsor Swire Shipping brought three container loads of set-up equipment, including state-of-the-art gym equipment and an Enforcer scrum machine. Fellow sponsors Vinod Patel Home & Living fitted out the facility with office equipment and recreational facilities for players. The entire facility has been customised for top level connectivity, by technology giants VT Solutions and Vodafone Fiji. Signage partners Mogul installed large murals and artwork which now adorn the facilities massive gymnasium space. This includes a huge Fijian flag measuring over seven metres in length and three metres in height on a feature wall.”
Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said: “We needed a home base to launch the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s future Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific campaigns and this facility has what we need to do that.
“We faced many challenges during our covid-impacted inaugural season this year. We had to use Lennox Head in New South Wales, Australia as a temporary home base, and had to evacuate from there twice due to flooding. While Lennox Head was great for us, we’re delighted to finally be able to put roots down right here in Nadi and truly stay, train and play at home.
“We wouldn’t have been able to lease this facility and customise it to our requirements without the help and support of our partners, sponsors, and shareholders. Their investment speaks volumes to their belief and commitment to our young Club, and it’s exciting that we’ll be able to showcase their products and services in our Home Base. We are also grateful for the support and guidance of the Fijian Drua Board, whose leadership and foresight enabled us to give our players the resources they need.”
In opening the base camp, Sir Bill said: “On behalf of World Rugby we are absolutely delighted to be a contributing factor to the Fijian Drua team. I think it is important for us at World Rugby to come out and see, admire and respect Fijian Rugby. You bring so much to the table, whether it is 15s men, women, or sevens, you are everybody’s second favourite team and everybody else seems to support Fiji. The help that you received from all your sponsors and everybody involved will enable your players to stay on the island and train here while playing in the top competition. It is a true partnership and what I can see is that because of this, Fijian Rugby will continue to go strength to strength, and this will not only improve the Drua, but also improve the national team as well.”
The Fijian Drua will kick off its official pre-season from the new facility on 12 October.
Today’s opening was done in the presence of Fijian Government leaders, World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, stakeholders, sponsors, staff, and Swire Shipping Fijian Drua players.
Photo: Fijian Drua