Rising water levels caused the Lake Ainsworth Sport & Rec Centre – the Fijian Drua’s base camp for the season – to close and on-site residents including the Drua squad and staff to evacuate.
The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua relocated to Gold Coast late yesterday ahead of rounds 7 and 8 as head coach Mick Byrne self-isolates after testing positive for coronavirus which also means he will be absent from the sideline when the Fijian franchise take on the Tahs in their round six encounter tomorrow.
“With our camp closing due to operational issues caused by the rising water levels, we had no choice but to move to the Gold Coast for the next 10 days,” Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said. “It was challenging to move almost 55 people with just a few hours’ notice, but we have managed to find suitable accommodation with training facilities nearby for our entire squad of players and staff. Of course, our situation pales in comparison to those folks in Northern NSW and the Northern Rivers region, as they brace themselves for yet more adversity. Our thoughts are with them.
“Mick is clearly gutted not to be with the team but remains in good spirits as he completes his recovery and self-isolation period. He continues to call the shots, of course, and the players are in the very capable hands of our coaching and management staff. Mick will join the team once cleared by the medical staff. This is just a minor bump in the road compared to everything else we’ve faced in our inaugural season.”
The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua take on the Waratahs at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on 1 April, before taking on the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 9 April.