Fijian Drua partners with Pacific Rugby Players on player development

Fijian Drua players will get a leg up in their development on and off the field, and be taught skills including how to manage their finances during and after their rugby career, thanks to a partnership the Super Rugby Pacific Fijian franchise signed with Pacific Rugby Players (PRP).

The PRP is the official representative body of rugby players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

The partnership, which also includes the Fiji Rugby Union(FRU), will see PRP independently advocate on behalf of and assist Drua players, similar to the work done by the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA, Australia) and New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA). Under this arrangement, PRP’s Personal Development Manager Gaylene Osborne spent a few weeks in the Drua camp in Australia, working with players on their individual development needs and requests.

Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said: “The wholesome development and independent support network of our athletes is very important to our Club. We’re delighted to have this official arrangement with PRP to work directlywith our players to ensure they have the support and space they need to grow and develop both on and off the field. PRP as a representative body does really good work in this space to provide guidance, counselling and education on off-field matters such as Finance, Education, Work-Life balance, and much more. Our players welcome these support initiatives and have worked enthusiastically with PRP to identify areas of interest to them. We’re thankful to PRP Chief Executive Hale T-Pole and Gaylene Osborne for the work they have already started on with us.”

Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor said: “Fiji Rugby already works closely with PRP for assistance to players in our High Performance Programmes like the 7s, U20s and our Academy. It’s wonderful for us to see the PRP continue this work for our Fijian Drua players. We are all united in our desire to see our athletes gain further valuable skills and knowledge and take advantage of the numerous opportunities available after they’ve hung up their boots.”

Speaking on behalf of PRP, Personal Development Manager Gaylene Osborne said: “We are very excited about our partnership with the Fijian Drua, and to continue our longstanding relationship with FRU, in assisting players to navigate their individual pathways to success. The Personal Development Programme (PDP) will equip the Fijian Drua players with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their rugby careers, their lives outside of rugby, and to lead positive and fulfilling lives. All of which is likely to have long-term positive results for them and their families.”

She added: “This space is new for some of the Drua players, but overall, I am very proud of how the players have taken to the PDP. It is an honour to work with players who understand that an engaged, organised, and well-balanced person will be a better contributor to the game on and off the field.”

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