Fiji Rugby has announced that it has completed one of the key steps in finalising its business plan which will underpin the Fijian Drua’s proposed entry into Super Rugby in 2022.
As previously announced, Fiji Rugby has been given the opportunity to field a Fijian team in the 2022 Super rugby competition, subject to meeting a range of conditions set down by New Zealand Rugby.
The business plan envisages playing at least six home games in Fiji each year, against blockbuster teams such as the Chiefs, Crusaders, Blues, Reds and Brumbies.
‘The prospect of the Fijian Drua playing in Super Rugby will be a dream come true, if we can meet the financial hurdles needed to sustain such a team,’ FRU chief executive John O’Connor said.
‘Having the resources to offer competitive playing contracts to not only bring our best players home, but to keep our best local talent in Fiji is our key objective. We want to field a team that is capable of reaching the finals in its first year and winning the competition within five years.
‘The Super rugby games held in Fiji in recent years show the passion of our fans and support for Super Rugby, and with a Fijian team representing our country, we are very confident that the local Fijians will turn out to passionately support the Drua.’
As a result of the financial requirements, Fiji Rugby has decided to seek private capital and is offering a majority ownership of the entity which will own and operate the team.
‘Private capital is a fact of life for sporting teams and franchises around the world, and we are embracing it, at the same time making sure that Fiji Rugby has an appropriate say in policy and key decisions around the team,’ O’Connor said.
‘We intend to seek NZ$10 million in capital and we’re confident that our proposal will attract strong interest from investors in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Ideally, we’d like Fijian investors also, but we’re looking for either a single investor, or at most three or four entities to back our team.’
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