Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Fijiana Drua women’s team denied meals in Brisbane

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Defending Super W Champions in Australia – Fijiana Dura
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) is currently under the pump after it was revealed that players of the Fijiana Drua women’s squad were denied meals due to a failure of payments by the rugby union.

Currently the defending Super W Champions in Australia, the team had to be fed and hosted by members of the Fijian community in the lead-up to their match against the Reds last week.

The shocking news surfaced in a Facebook post from a community member in Australia circulated online, asking the community to band together to provide meals for the Fijiana girls.

“Last night my family fed the Fijian Drua women’s rugby team…as the restaurant where they normally have their meals had shut the door on them…as FRU weren’t paying,” the post said.

“We had plans to feed them on Thurs…which was very lucky as the girls wouldn’t have any dinner. We are feeding them again for dinner today and tomorrow and Sunday breakfast…and Sunday after the game they are coming to Annerley for late lunch and ready to travel to Fiji on midnight flight.

“Any help of food or donation would go straight to their meals.”

Fijiana Drua lose to Reds. Photo: Provided

The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW) organisation re-shared the post on their facebook page hoping for urgent help to be granted to the team. A representative from PRPW later confirmed that there was no reason for the payment and meals issues to even exist.

“It’s all confirmed now. Our source from PacificAus sport said that they have provided all the funding for Fijiana Drua to FRU,” PRPW stated.

“Unfortunately, that money hasn’t been channelled into the right area.”

Financial issues are not new to the FRU, who are also under scrutiny for an outstanding six figure payment for a NSW training centre which hosted the Drua men’s team in 2021.

In a press statement released on Monday, Sale Sorovaki, Acting CEO of the FRU admitted to having financial issues, in what seemed like an apology.

“FRU is responsible for looking over the general logistics of any team travelling overseas. These include players allowance, accommodation, meals and any other associated costs,” Sorovaki said.

“These have been highlighted to us by DFAT through Rugby Australia which monitors this financial assistance and FRU is trying its utmost to improve on it.

“We are grateful to the Australian Government through the Vuvale partnership which allows our Fijiana Drua women’s team to participate in the Super W competition.

“To the Fijian families that have assisted the Fijiana Drua with meals and other support, FRU is eternally grateful to you. We may not be able to repay you, however we are deeply grateful for your kind gesture to our fellow Fijians at a time when they needed it the most.”

Fijiana Drua are currently sitting at fourth place on the Super Rugby W ladder, with 2 wins and 3 losses. It’s a different start for the year in comparison to their unbeaten run last year right through to their win in the final.

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