The Australian Government will continue its support to enable Fiji to participate in Super Rugby Pacific and Australia's Super W Competition for the next four years.
The announcement is being made on the first day of a visit to Australia by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, the Hon Sitiveni Rabuka, as a guest of the Government.
Australia and Fiji have a long-standing rugby history and the unique rugby bond that unites the two countries is stronger than ever.
Australia’s partnership will help the Fijian and Fijiana Drua teams to create on-island pathways to professional rugby for Fijian players.
The Fijiana Drua's participation in Super W has had a significant social impact on women's and girls’ sports in the Pacific. The Fijiana’s success as back-to-back Super W champions in 2022 and 2023 has inspired young girls across the region to get involved in rugby and encouraged women and girls to continue to be champions both on and off the field.
The investment is being delivered through PacificAus Sports, the Australian Government’s $15.6 million high performance sport program in the Pacific.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:
“Australia and Fiji share a deep love of rugby. Rugby doesn’t just build mutual respect and pride. It brings our nations together through shared goals, sporting heroes and achievements.
“This funding commitment builds on our partnership with Rugby Australia through PacificAus Sports which helped with the establishment of the Fijian and Fijiana Drua and their entry into the Super Rugby Pacific and Super W competition.
“Australia’s support will focus on the Fijiana to enable the continued growth and success of women’s rugby in Fiji, inspiring a new generation of girls across the region to play professional rugby.”
Quotes attributable to Mark Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Fijian Drua:
“We are very grateful for the generous support of the Australian Government. Today’s signing is a real demonstration of Australia’s commitment to Fiji and rugby.
“This generous funding allows us to sustain Fiji’s only professional sports franchise, the Fijian Drua, enabling us to participate in Super Rugby Pacific and Super W competitions.
“Since the Fijian Drua’s inception, we have fast become a real pathway for young Fijian women and men to pursue a professional career in their favourite sport (rugby) in Fiji itself, whereas previously they would have had to move ashore for these opportunities.
“The Drua are indebted to the Australian Government for helping make dreams come through for our players.”
Quotes attributable to Phil Waugh, Chief Executive Officer, Rugby Australia:
“Rugby is the sport of choice for the people of Fiji, and the Fijian teams have lit up our Super W competition and Super Rugby Pacific, creating new rivalries with Australian teams and captivating new and old rugby fans with their exciting approach to the game.
“Rugby Australia looks forward to working with the Australian Government and our rugby partners across the Pacific over the next four years to continue bringing our region and people closer together through rugby”.