Harris, Koong link up with Cawanibuka for Fijian Drua Super Rugby debut

The Fijian Drua will be reunion for some of the Tokyo Olympics gold medal winning outfit after the inclusion of William Koong and Brad Harris in the Fijian franchise coaching and management staff who will link up with Nacani Cawanibuka and 7s players in the likes of Napolioni Bolaca and Ratu Meli Derenalagi for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.

Koong has been named Head Physiotherapist whilst Harris who assisted Gareth Baber at the Tokyo Olympics, takes on the same role, but this time to assist Fijian Drua Head coach Mick Bryne alongside Flying Fijians assistant coach Glen Jackson.

Harris was also specialist coach for the Drua during the 2018-19 NRC.

They are joined by Assistant Manager Fijian National teams Peceli Derederenalagi and General Manager Franchise Teams Nico Andrade who have had a management stint with Fijian Drua during the NRC. Derederenalagi joins as team manager and Andrade as general manager.

Interim CEO Brian Thorburn welcomed the coaching and management team to the Fijian Drua vuvale. “It’s wonderful to be able to share with our fans in Fiji and around the world the support team behind the Fijian Drua. The experts and specialists we’re announcing today are no strangers to the Fiji Rugby vuvale, having been around various squads and teams in a number of capacities.

Koong sees this as a growth opportunity for Fiji and for him personally: “Fiji Rugby’s entry into the Super Rugby programme has been long awaited. In my over 13 years of working for the union I can confidently say that we are more than ready now. It facilitates the next level in the Fijian Rugby Talent Pathway, it will provide more social and economic opportunities for young men and women, and is another growth opportunity in my career, as well as those I continue to mentor.

“The break into Super Rugby means more opportunities for Fijian players. The professional work environment aside, the primary benefit is one’s take-home packet. This will ultimately strengthen the livelihood and welfare of players and their beneficiaries.”

Photo: Fiji Rugby/File

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