The Swire Shipping Drua’s bid for more impacts in the Super Rugby Pacific competition has been boosted with the Fijian Government fulfilling its $6 million investment into the franchise.
The signing of the shareholders agreement between the Government, Counter Ruck Pte Ltd and Fiji Rugby Football Union Trust Board for the second payment of $3m, was conducted yesterday by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, in Suva.
The first $3m was given after the first signing in April.
“As announced in the revised budget for the support for Fiji Rugby Union for the Fijian Drua in Super Rugby Pacific requirement, the Fijian Government is investing $6 million for 51 per cent in the ownership of Counter Ruck Pte Ltd for the Fiji Rugby Union Trust Board to own and operate the Fijian Drua,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said the investment would help the Fijian economy, especially with the Fijian side setting base in Nadi and playing five matches probably between Lautoka and Suva.
“The Drua will play five matches here at home bringing the best in the world to Fiji. To market tourism, the Drua has partnered with Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji to promote Fiji as the best place to watch Super Rugby match live.
“Government has also allocated funding to upgrade the lights at Churchill Park to meet international requirements for night games. The investment by Government is to drive new revenue to the country and bring international matches such as the Super Rugby matches.”
He said the payment of the second installmentFiji Rugby Union chairman Humphery Tawake, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum , Fiji Rugby Union trustee Ratu Epeli Nailatikau receiving a signed Fijian Drua jersey fromn Interim Fiji Rugby Unopn CEO Bob Thorburn, after the signing ceremony at Ro Lalabalavu House yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI was to ensure that the Drua continued its path of progress after its debut this year. Fiji Rugby Union chairman Humphrey Tawake thanked Government, saying the investment would benefit more young Fijians.
“The investment is a testament of Government’s vision in youth and sports such as rugby, our national sport which brings smiles across our communities,” Tawake said.
“In addition will be the potential opportunities the Fijian Drua will create in sports tourism and other sectors in the Drua home games annually. This is a testament of commitment and Government support to our national sport, rugby, the game that always lift Fijian spirits despite the challenges and adversities we face.”