Super Rugby 2024

Looking into the 2024 season, the Fijian Drua have a legitimate chance of being a contender building off the foundations that were made last year when they qualified for the playoffs in only their 2nd season in the Super Rugby competition. The Drua finished with a 6-8 record in the regular season which was good enough to finish at the 7th position on the overall standings, they then faced the eventual winners the Crusaders in the quarterfinals and were bested 49-8. The Drua however proved throughout the season that they could beat any team on any given day, they showed this with strong wins over the Hurricanes and Crusaders during the regular season which caught many people by surprise. The 2023 season for the Drua is a great step in the right direction to really make some noise in the competition and rise as real contenders.

How the Drua can be legitimate contenders? 

The schedule: 

The Fijian Drua hold a very impressive record when they play at home in front of their great supporters in Fiji. Last season they were 5-2 in games played in Fiji, proving themselves tough to beat when they play at home. It could be for a number of reasons like the climate or the loud supporters but I believe it’s more the fact that the Fijian players really rise to the challenge of defending their home field especially in front of their fans and supporters. In the 2024 season the Drua host the Crusaders, Waratahs, Western Force, Hurricanes, Moana Pasifika, Reds and Melbourne Rebels in their third season in the competition. Five of the seven matches will be played in Lautoka’s Churchill Park with the other two taking place at the National Stadium in Suva. Goodluck to the teams coming into Fiji to beat the Drua, you certainly have your work cut out for you.

RWC experience:  

After their success in the Super Rugby pacific competition, the Drua had 18 players selected into the Flying Fijians side for the 2023 Rugby World cup. This experience at the highest level that Rugby can offer will bode well with the returning Drua players and will only enhance their level of play as they come back into the Super Rugby pacific competition.

3rd year in the competition: 

With 2 years in the competition under their belt the experience of this Drua team is the best that its been since their inception into Super Rugby. Having a good schedule in terms of travel, training and rest that they have learnt from being in the competition the last 2 years will allow them to finally flourish in the 2024 season. Don’t be shocked if at the end of the season the Drua are knocking on the door of qualifying for a Semi-final especially if they can get home field advantage in the playoffs.

Fijian Drua 2024 squad: 

Loosehead props: Emosi Tuqiri, Haereiti Hetet, Livai Natave; Hookers: Mesulame Dolokoto, Tevita Ikanivere, Zuriel Togiatama; Tighthead Prop: Jone Koroduadua, Mesake Doge, Samuela Tawale; Utility Prop: Meli Tuni; Locks: Etonia Waqa, Isoa Nasilasila, Leone Ratisolia, Sailosi Vukalokalo (new), Te Cirikidaveta; Backrowers: Elia Canakaivata, Kitione Salawa, Meki Derenalagi, Motikai Murray, Vilive Miramira; Halfbacks: Frank Lomani, Peni Matawalu, Philip Baselala, Simione Kuruvoli; First-fives: Kemu Valetini, Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula (new), Isikeli Rabitu (new), Caleb Muntz; Centres: Apisalome Vota, Iosefo Masi, Michael Naitokani, Waqa Nalaga (new); Back 3: Ilaisa Droasese, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Taniela Rakuro, Epeli Momo (new); Utility – Tuidraki Samusamuvodre.

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Article written by:
Kace O’Neill & Vanessa Leota