Rauluni names 10 rookies in squad

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Fijian Drua CEO Mark Evans and the Fijian Drua women’s head coach Moses Rauluni after the official signing of the partnership deal at Tanoa International in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua women’s head coach Moses Rauluni has named his 34-member side for the 2024 Super Rugby W season as they try to reclaim the title for a third time in a row.

The former Flying Fijian skipper named 10 rookies in the squad, with a handful of members from last year’s competition.

The side sees the return of former Rebels hooker Vika Matarugu alongside throwers such as Keleni Marawa, Litia Marama and rookie Una Lalabalavu.

Rookies Salanieta Nabuli and Loraini Seniloli have been given the loosehead props position while Anasimeci Korovata steps up to the front row with Tiana Robanakadavu on the other end of the scrum.

They are backed by veterans Mereoni Vonosere and Siteri Rasolea. Rauluni’s middle row consists of Mereoni Nakesa, Jade Coates, Asinate Serevi, and Nunia Uluikadavu at locks.

At backrowers are Merewai Nasilasila, Sulita Waisega, Fulori Nabura and Merevesi Ofakimalino. Karalaini Naisewa offers options for coaches for the number 8 forward spot. Merewalesi Rokouono returns from the North Queensland Cowboys in the NLRW to compete for the critical flyhalf position in the squad, alongside rookie Salanieta Kinita and Jeniffer Ravutia.

Meanwhile, Young Noelani Baselala, the youngest player in the side, will be joining in as halfback alongside Setaita Railumu and Evivi Senikarivi. Rauluni says their aim for the new season is to slowly build momentum after every game as they look to maintain their title as Super Rugby W champions.

“The team is a perfect mix of experienced and youth players, bringing a new blend of skill sets and talent to the Super Rugby Women’s competition. The aim for the squad is to build game-by-game towards getting our hands on the cup for a third time,” he said.

“This requires a lot of commitment, hard work, and dedication coupled with accountability and accuracy in terms of ensuring that we deliver what is expected of us. Now that we’ve joined the Fijian Drua franchise our campaign has been further boosted towards this goal.”

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