Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua ger conditional licences for new competition
Pacific Islands pro rugby takes a step forward
In a significant move for sport in the Pacific region, New Zealand Rugby have granted Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua conditional licences to join a planned new professional competition next year.
Around five months ago, NZR confirmed that Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua were their preferred partners for the journey of Pasifika-linked teams into future elite competitions. Today’s move signifies a major step toward those sides joining New Zealand‘s five Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa clubs and Rugby Australia‘s five Super Rugby AU teams in a new competition set to take place in 2022 – albeit, on condition of approving their final business plans and Rugby Australia giving their own stamp of approval.
Former Samoa and All Blacks star Sir Michael Jones – currently a board memeber with New Zealand Rugby, hailed the move. In a statement he said: “We are now on the cusp of realising a long-held desire to include Pasifika in our professional game and the opportunity to embrace all that comes with that.
“With the approval of licences, Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua can now forge ahead with the final stages of their business plans and crucially start to lock in their playing and coaching rosters for next season. It’s an exciting time for rugby.”
Fiji Rugby Union Chair Conway Begg also said of the move: “This is a big moment for the Drua and will provide the impetus for us to finalise our equity partners, appoint coaches, contract players and confirm our commercial partners. We are on the home stretch and excitement is building across Fiji.”
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