The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua says former Drua squad member, Napolioni Bolaca had a pre-existing knee condition of many years standing when he was contracted to the Fiji Rugby Union and then subsequently seconded to the Fijian Drua in November 2021.
The Drua says Bolaca played at the 2021 Olympics with the same knee condition and there were other players signed to the club who also had pre-existing conditions.
The management says these players were all monitored carefully and managed conservatively and when appropriate, major surgery followed.
It says Bolaca was treated in exactly the same way.
The Fijian Drua says it funded all medical and travel expenses for players that required in-season and post-season surgery.
Bolaca’s secondment to the Drua was cancelled on 5th May 2022 for non-medical related reasons however the Drua continued to pay him for a period of time afterwards.
After his secondment was terminated, Bolaca joined the Fijian 7s programme under an FRU contract.
The Drua says to be clear, the knee condition remained at this time.
The Fijian Drua further says they had a number of players who joined the squad with pre-existing medical conditions and they have all returned to play successfully after surgery and associated rehab.
It says if Bolaca’s conduct had been appropriate, he would have remained a member of the squad and would have been treated in exactly the same manner as the other players in similar circumstances.
We are currently awaiting comments from the Fiji Rugby Union on whether there is any planned assistance for Bolaca who needs urgent knee surgery costing around NZD$30,000.
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