The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua will mount its second Super Rugby Pacific campaign with six home games locked in for Fiji in 2023.
Coming to Fiji next year are 2022 champions Crusaders, 2022 finalists Blues, Melbourne Rebels, Queensland Reds, Moana Pasifika and Hurricanes.
The Drua will host the Waratahs in Melbourne during the Super Round, which was announced last week.
For its away games in 2023, the Drua will travel to Auckland, Brisbane, Dunedin, Canberra, Hamilton, Perth and Sydney.
The Drua will reveal the exact locations of its Fiji games in Suva tomorrow during an important competition announcement.
The team made a huge statement by winning two of its games in its debut season, while almost creating upsets against two of the best teams in the competition during their home matches in Fiji.
Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn says it will be a fascinating 15 weeks of Super Rugby Pacific and they cannot wait to play six games right here in front of our Drua vuvale.
They are delighted with the draw which will see some of the competition’s best teams heading to our home, including both finalists from last year.
Thorburn says they are delighted that the amazing fans will get to witness the Crusaders, Melbourne Rebels, Blues, Hurricanes, Moana Pasifika, and Queensland Reds right here.
He says a trip to Fiji now presents visiting teams with a daunting challenge on the field but a wonderful Fiji tourism experience for their fans off it.
Thorburn says the fact that all the home games in Fiji are on Saturday afternoons will make it easy and convenient for all the fans to attend and cheer on their Drua as they take on some of the world’s best rugby teams.
The Drua are now preparing for pre-season and are focused on doing even better in their second season.
The competition will see all 12 teams play a total of 14 matches during the regular season, which includes the 11 round-robin fixtures plus three additional rivalry matches, that will yet again ignite the trans-Tasman and Pasifika rivalries like never before.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson says there is a real feeling that Super Rugby Pacific is ready for take-off after a successful, but COVID disrupted inaugural season.
Robinson says they saw massive potential on the field in 2022, but also some huge challenges off it, so to have a fully integrated and uninterrupted draw in 2023 is great news for the players and the fans.
He thinks we are going to see one of Super Rugby’s most competitive seasons.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos says being able to play regularly in front of home fans, and to travel across the Tasman and around the Pacific is massive for the competition, especially for fans, who can support their teams through a full home schedule.
The opening weekend will also see Pasifika pride on the line as Moana Pasifika host the Fijian Drua at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in what will be the start of historic campaigns for last year’s two competition newcomers.
●Round 1: Moana Pasifika v Fijian Drua, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland – 4.35pm (local) / 3:35pm (Fiji)
●Round 2: Fijian Drua v Waratahs, AAMI Park, Melbourne, 7.45pm (local) / 8.45pm (Fiji)
●Round 3: Fijian Drua v Crusaders, Venue TBC –3.35pm (Fiji)
●Round 4: Reds v Fijian Drua, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 3pm (local) / 5pm (Fiji)
●Round 5: Highlanders v Fijian Drua, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 4.35pm (local) / 3.35pm (Fiji)
●Round 6: Fijian Drua v Rebels, Venue TBC- 3.35pm (Fiji)
●Round 7: Bye
●Round 8: Brumbies v Fijian Drua, GIO Stadium, Canberra - 7:35pm (local) / 9:35pm (Fiji)
●Round 9: Chiefs v Fijian Drua, FMG Stadium, Waikato, Hamilton - 7.05pm (local)/ 7.05pm (Fiji)
●Round 10: Fijian Drua v Blues, Venue TBC - 12.05pm (local) / 2.05pm (Fiji)
●Round 11: Fijian Drua v Hurricanes, Venue TBC –2.05pm (Fiji)
●Round 12: Force v Fijian Drua, HBF Park, Perth - 5.35pm (local) / 9.35pm (Fiji)
●Round 13: Waratahs v Fijian Drua, Allianz Stadium, Sydney – 7.45pm (local) / 9.45pm (Fiji)
●Round 14: Fijian Drua v Moana Pasifika, Venue TBC- 2.05pm (Fiji)
●Round 15: Fijian Drua v Reds, Venue TBC - 4:45pm (Fiji)
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