Burnes to coach Nadi women

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Lailanie Burnes during an interview. Picture: ATU RASEA

Former Fijiana 15s captain Lailanie Burnes has been appointed the Nadi Rugby Union women’s head coach for the 2023 season.

Burnes is a level 3 World Rugby accredited coach and will try to improve on the Nadi senior women’s rugby team’s sixth-place finish in this year’s Marama Championship.

Burnes, who was a commentator for the Fijian Drua’s Super Rugby Pacific matches this year, is a former Nadi women’s rugby captain and was a coaching intern with the Fijiana 15s She was the founder of the Nadi Blazers Women’s Rugby Club.

As the team’s former captain, Burnes played an active part in securing Fijiana qualification for their first-ever Rugby World Cup but now she has chosen to influence the team from the sidelines after taking the decision to hang up her boots.

“We are honoured to announce the appointment of our new senior women’s head coach for 2023 Ms. Lailanie Burnes to our team,” a Nadi Rugby Union statement read.

“Our senior women’s finishing sixth in the 2022 season, Ms Burnes appointment is a timely one as she sets up a plan to develop women’s rugby in Nadi and improve our position in 2023.”

Meanwhile, the union has retained the coaching staff for the senior men’s team.

Ilai Derenalagi remains as the head coach and will be assisted by Cohan Politini. Epeli Qoro is the team manager. The trio helped Nadi lift the 2022 Skipper Cup.