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New Zealand gives green light to Pacific Islander teams Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua for Super Rugby |  Rugby news


New Zealand Rugby Board’s decision is a major step towards Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua joining the New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby teams in a new tournament in 2022; Rugby Australia said he was “encouraged” by NZR announcement

Last updated: 04/14/21 7:07 am

Fijian Drua competes in Australian lower level rugby national championship and won the title in 2018

Pacific Islander teams Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua have been granted conditional licenses to join a proposed Super Rugby competition next year, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced on Wednesday.

The decision by the NZR board is a major step towards the teams joining the New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby teams in a new tournament in 2022.

NZR said the participation of the Pacific teams was conditional on their final business plans and support from Rugby Australia.

“We are entering the final stages of planning for 2022 and beyond, and we are confident that Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua will be able to fulfill the conditions of the license, which includes the final approval of a plan to develop. ‘sustainable business by June 30,’ NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said in a statement.

“Over the next two months we will be working with Rugby Australia and the two Pasifika teams to formalize their place in the new competition in what we believe will usher in an exciting new era for professional play.”

Rugby Australia said it was “encouraged” by the NZR announcement.

“We look forward to continuing our engagement with the NZR on this process as we head into 2022,” RA chief executive Andy Marinos said in a separate statement.

“Once the licensing conditions are met, we look forward to formalizing the roster of the squads in what we hope will prove a new dawn for rugby in the region.”

Fijian Drua, launched in 2017, competes in Australia’s lower level rugby national championship and won the title in 2018.

An invitational team of Moana Pasifika was beaten 28-21 by the Maori All Blacks in a single game last year.

Fijian Drua is expected to be based in Fiji, but Moana Pasifika, who reportedly includes players from Tonga and Samoa, is expected to operate from New Zealand due to cost concerns.

New Zealand has been pushing for the inclusion of the Pacific in a new tournament with Australian professional teams since the larger Super Rugby competition, which included teams from South Africa and one from Argentina, was dropped. last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Rugby governing body gave new impetus last month by pledging £ 1.2million a year over three years to help facilitate entry for teams from the Pacific.

“This is a great moment for Drua and it will give us the impetus to finalize our partners in actions, appoint coaches, subscribe players and confirm our business partners,” said Fiji Rugby Union President Conway Begg .

“We are on the home stretch and the excitement is building in Fiji.”

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