Communities across the Blue Pacific are celebrating the official confirmation of two new Super Rugby teams, the Fijian Drua and the Moana Pasifika, who are set to compete in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition. This marks the beginning of a new era for Super Rugby in the Pacific.
The new 12-team Super Rugby Pacific competition will see the introduction of the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika to the world’s premier provincial competition, alongside five Australian and five New Zealand teams.
Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia is proud to have played a role in the historic achievement, having supported the Fijian Drua to cement their position in the Super Rugby Pacific franchise. Whilst an exciting moment to celebrate, the journey has not been an easy one. With a substantive application process to negotiate, any new entrants to the Super Rugby competition are required to meet stringent financial conditions, including the requirement to hold substantial cash assets and provide financial guarantees to ensure a team’s long-term viability.
Through the utilisation of a blended finance model, the Fijian Drua have been successful in securing initial funding through several channels. To support this, the Fijian Drua accessed PTI Australia’s Impact Support Program and investment facilitation services, designed to support and encourage impactful Pacific projects in international markets.
PTI Australia’s Impact Investment Manager, Leata Alaimoana-Roberts, says the inclusion of the Fijian Drua to the Super Rugby Pacific competition is one that will have a significant positive economic effect in the region.
“We believe the establishment of the Fijian Drua is an extremely important step towards rugby becoming an even larger commercial industry in the Pacific than it already is. This in turn encourages jobs and investment to the region while acting as a major driver for impact on both an economic and community level. There is immense potential for growth within this space and we are proud to be able to support the Fijian Drua in their inaugural Super Rugby Pacific campaign.”
Fijian Drua interim CEO, Brian Thorburn, says PTI Australia’s support has benefited the club, aiding in a variety of ways.
“PTI Australia’s support has been of great assistance during this period, and we thank them for their specialised services. Their support has most definitely played a part in getting us to where we are today, only months away from our first match.
“The rugby world has long known what our Fijian players are capable of; however, we are now presented with the opportunity to showcase this week in, week out, as part of the Super Rugby Pacific competition. We look forward to demonstrating to young Fijian players that they don’t have to go offshore; they can pursue their dream at home. The flow on effect of this on communities in Fiji will be immense.”
It is the Fijian Drua’s intention to be based in Fiji for the 2023 season, opening the door for up to seven Super Rugby matches to be hosted in Fiji once the restrictions around travel are eased post-COVID.
If you would like to find out more about investment in the region or have an interest in sponsorship opportunities at the Drua, please contact PTI Australia’s Impact Investment Manager, Leata Alaimoana-Roberts on firstname.lastname@example.org.