Former Reds winger and Veitokani join Fijian Drua camp

The Fijian Drua camp has been bolstered with the inclusion of former Queensland Reds winger Ilaisa Droasese and National Rugby Championship star Alivereti Veitokani.

Twenty-two-year-old Droasese who came through Fiji Rugby’s age-grade program including the Deans competition signed with the Drua after being released by the Reds, while Veitokani’s involvement marks what appears to be a remarkable recovery after having been ruled out of the 2022 season due to a major knee injury.

Droasese was part of the Fiji Schoolboys and Fiji U20s teams before moving to Australia to join Brisbane City in the former NRC in 2019 and featured for the Reds in Super Rugby 2021. Veitokani who was instrumental in the Drua’s National Rugby Championship outing was put into rehab after he was injured with the intent to be roped in for the 2023 season.

Meanwhile on Droasese’s inclusion, Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said: “We’re past the halfway mark of our maiden Super Rugby journey; injuries and workload management are well and truly in play so to be able to sign another young Fijian talent as soon as he was available is great. He is also a Fiji Rugby pathway product from the Deans competition to the Fiji U20s, which speaks volumes of the strength of Fiji Rugby Union’s domestic programme.

“We have no doubt that Ilaisa would be an asset to the Fijian Drua, having played alongside some of Australia’s best Super Rugby players in that excellent Reds environment. We look forward to him challenging for a place in the matchday 23 when he settles in and adding to the one Super Rugby try he already has.”

Droasese is a former Cuvu College student, featuring for the Nadroga school in the Deans Trophy competition in 2017 and 2018. He played for Fiji in the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship alongside current Swire Shipping Fijian Drua players Meli Tuni, Tevita Ikanivere, Isoa Nasilasila, Chris Minimbi, Vilive Miramira, Simione Kuruvoli, Josh Vuta and Caleb Muntz. Droasese also played for Queensland Country U19s before joining Brisbane City in the former NRC competition.

Photo: Fiji Rugby

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