17 Nov 2023

Drua reveal home game venues - 'Can't wait' for 2024 Super Rugby season

3:46 pm on 17 November 2023
Fijian Drua replacement Taniela Rakuro celebrates scoring the match winning try against Moana Pasifika, 2023.

Fijian Drua replacement Taniela Rakuro celebrates scoring the match winning try against Moana Pasifika, 2023. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fijian rugby fans will get to watch their team, the Fijian Drua, at home in seven matches during the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Five of those matches will be played at Lautoka's Churchill Park while two will be at the National Stadium in Suva, the Nadi-based franchise confirmed on Friday.

Drua play home games against the Crusaders, Waratahs, Western Force, Hurricanes, Moana Pasifika, Reds and Rebels.

Lautoka's Churchill Park will host matches against the Crusaders, Waratahs, Western Force, Moana Pasifika and the Rebels, while the National Stadium in Suva will host the Hurricanes and the Reds.

They will battle the Blues in their opening Super Rugby match for the new year in Auckland on 24 February.

Exciting season

Fijian Drua chief executive Mark Evans said they are "delighted" to be able to give fans more games to watch at home in the new season.

"We would, of course, have liked to have more than two matches in Suva for our fans in the Central Division, but the stadium is simply not available," Evans said.

"We understand they may be disappointed at this development and are working to make it easier for them to attend matches in the West.

"We are in active discussions with bus companies to create travel and match ticket packages with the Drua, so fans from Suva, Naitasiri, Tailevu, Lami and Pacific Harbour can make it a day trip to Lautoka.

"Three of the matches will kick off at 1pm which helps fans to make the trip to watch their Drua take on some of the world's most exciting players right here in Fiji."

Evans said 2024 is going to be an exciting year, with the Waratahs also booked to make their first trip to Fiji.

"It's going to be another ground-breaking season for the Drua. We'll play more matches in Fiji than we've ever played," he said.

"We have a squad that has 20 Flying Fijians players, 18 of whom with Rugby World Cup experience now.

"We will play the defending champions the Crusaders at home, welcome first timers to Fiji in the NSW Waratahs and the Western Force and a large number of rugby stars.

"We also host our first Friday night match against the Hurricanes in Suva, which will undoubtedly be appealing for those in the Capital city. All of this in front of the world's best rugby fans.

"Our fans are the biggest advantage the Drua have and we look forward to delighting them both on and off the field.

"With entertainment, music, food and heaps of fun, there will never be a dull moment at a Drua home game on or off the field. We can't wait for 2024!"

Fijian Drua home games for 2024.

Fijian Drua home games for 2024. Photo: Fijian Drua

Games confirmed

Lautoka will host the defending champions, Crusaders, on 9 March and first-time visitors to Fiji, the Waratahs on 23 March.

The Western Force will follow a week after on 30 March.

Both the Waratahs and Force matches will also be double headers, with the Fijiana Drua also meeting their women counterparts from the Australian franchises on those match-days.

The Drua then take on the Hurricanes on a Friday night blockbuster in Suva on 19 April and return to Lautoka the following week to take on Moana Pasifika in the battle of the Pacific on 27 April.

Drua will host the Reds on 18 May before playing the Melbourne Rebels in Lautoka on 1 June.

Rawaqa joins coaching team

Meanwhile, former Flying Fijian and 2005 Sevens World Cup winner Ifereimi Rawaqa has joined the Fijian Drua coaching team.

Rawaqa is the Drua's new skills and development coach.

The Vuda man was coach of the Fiji Under-20 team to the World Rugby Under-20 World Cup this year and had played for Fiji at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups.

He has a World Rugby Level 3 coaching accreditation.

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