The private investment will help support the club from Fiji compete in the Super rugby competition
Investment sought for Fiji Super Rugby team
Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) are seeking private investment of NZ$10million (just over £5million) after the path was cleared to field a Fijian team in the 2022 Super Rugby competition. Crucially, the investment will support the team, and also meet a range of financial stipulations imposed by New Zealand Rugby Union.
Hoping to host at least six home games in the competition each season, the Fijian Drua’s proposed entry into Super Rugby could welcome teams such as the Chiefs and Crusaders to the Pacific nation. However, this is subject to a private investment essential for the team from Fiji to compete.
The stringent stipulations that New Zealand rugby has imposed requires the team to provide financial guarantees for a long term future. Clearly, the Drua’s continued involvement within the competition is a priority.
Working independently from the FRU, Fiji rugby are offering a majority ownership of the club. Therefore, the administration will conduct the club through a separate company structure with its own board of directors.
FRU CEO, John O’Connor said “private capital is a fact of life for sporting teams and we are embracing it. We are making sure that Fiji Rugby has an appropriate say in policy and key decisions around the team. We intend to seek NZ$10 million in capital and we’re confident that our proposal will attract strong interest from investors. Ideally, we’d like Fijian investors, although we’re looking for either a single investor or up to four entities to back our team.”
A key step of the Business Plan underpinning the new team’s entry into the competition has already been met. New Zealand Rugby Union will receive the remaining plans and information. This details the playing and coaching staff structure, as well as the complete administrative structures implemented to support the team.
The Fijian Drua already has experience in conducting through a private company structure, after joining the Australian National Rugby Championship in 2017. O’Connor explained that the financial conditions in place are justified by the New Zealand Rugby Union.
“We have been aware for some time that we would need to raise capital to meet the financial hurdles. We want the team to be properly capitalised so that it can be in place for twenty years and more. NZ Rugby rightfully insists on there being enough financial resources to sustain team operations even if we have a bad year or two”.
FRU Chairman, Conway Beg, hopes that the Fijian Drua joining Super Rugby will benefit the future of the national team. The development of the team will mean players stay in the country, rather than look abroad for playing opportunities.
“This is a transformational opportunity for Fiji Rugby,” said Beg. “Once we attract the capital, we can finally bring our best players home. We can keep our best local players and have them together in one place, training and playing together week in & week out, developing combinations. They’ll also have consistent skill development, strength & conditioning support and all of the usual facilities that other Super Rugby teams enjoy in the region. We’re looking forward to bringing the Fijian style of rugby to Super Rugby in 2022 – Fun. Flair. Energy. Unpredictability. I can’t wait!”
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