Factors behind starting 15

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Fijian Drua Coach Mick Byrne during a press conference at the Fijian Drua Home Base in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

“I do not think ever.”

This was response from Swire Shipping Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne when queried whether after five rounds of the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific competition he had found his best starting 15.

“We got an idea of our playing group for sure but I do not think, we will say that this will be the starting 15 and will play every week,” Byrne said.

He said there was a number of factors behind not having a consistent starting 15.

“It is a long hard season and some players are going to need a break here and there.

“Every week, not all players can play too many rounds in a row.”

He highlighted that some teams playing in the competition had to also consider the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.

“We look at the teams that we are playing, they are resting players. The New Zealand and Australian teams in the competition, they are sort of looking at the World Cup and we are no different because we got to look after our players as well.”

When queried what he planned to implement in order to break the Drua’s two game losing streak, Bryne said they were working hard in training.

“As a coach, I would love to be able to stop it but since I do not have the ability to get out on the field, certainly as a coach, you make plans during the week.”

Bryne added that New Zealand and Australian teams played a different style of rugby and they had to adopt accordingly when playing against them.

“The Australian teams throw the ball around and it is working for them because they are registering points very quickly, however, the New Zealand teams are very clinical in the way they approach the game.

“They are very physical and weigh you down,” he said.

This Saturday, the Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua will play first before the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua takes on the Rebels men’s side in round six of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific clash at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

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