Fijian Drua to offer contracts

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Members of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. The side returned from Brisbane in Australia after beating the Western Force during pre-season trial match. Picture: FIJIAN DRUA

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne says new and lengthy contracts will be offered to their younger players to help them reach their full potential before leaving for greener pastures.

Byrne said this was normal for almost every club in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific competition.

“In the next few weeks, we will be giving new contracts to some of our younger players. This is to allow us to mold and develop our players before they decide to leave the club,” Byrne said.

“Usually when teams have very young players, overseas clubs are ready to pounce on them and we don’t want that happening here at the Fijian Drua.”

He used Taniela Rakuro as an example after an impressive performance against the Moana Pacifika last weekend.

“Though he had little game time, he made an impact after scoring the winning try,” Byrne said.

“Just by that performance, we know there will be scouts and clubs out there already watching and monitoring him.”

Dubbed the “Motopai’ or motorbike by his teammates, Rakuro scored his first try against Moana, which was the winner for the Drua.

“There have also been a lot of questions on whether Philip Baselala will be playing. We are pleased to inform you that Baselala will be playing this season, we’re just allowing him to acclimatise to the Super Rugby atmosphere before putting him on the field.

“He is a very physical player, almost too physical for a 19-year-old, but we just want to give him all the training and advice he needs before jumping on the field.”

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