Nagusa to lead Drua

Nemani Nagusa. Picture: FIJIAN DRUA

Former Fiji 7s and Flying Fijians flanker Nemani Nagusa has been selected to captain the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team in the coming Super Rugby Pacific championship.

Nagusa has capped 18 times for Fiji after making his debut for the Flying Fijians in 2012 against Georgia. He has played with the Newcastle Falcons in the English Premiership and the Pro D2 competition in France.

He is no stranger to the captain’s role, having led the Fiji 7s team and the Fiji Warriors in the Pacific Rugby Championship. Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne praised Nagusa for his attitude, work ethic and leadership shown since the squad started camp at Lennox Head in Australia last November.

“Nemani is a real leader and showed this from the start,” Byrne said.

“We have all been working hard to prepare for our inaugural Super Rugby Pacific campaign and he has led the way for many of us, myself included. He has been representing the team to the coaching staff out of his own initiative and eagerness.”

He said Nagusa commanded the respect of players, coaching staff and the FD management.

“I am very proud to have him as my right hand man and leader. He deserves this honour of being the first captain of our Drua.” Nagusa was humbled by the responsibility.

“I thank the coaches and the management for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this talented young group of men and the first Super Rugby side from Fiji,” the former Nadroga hitman said.

“It is a huge honour. I am grateful to God and to my family for their unyielding support throughout my rugby career. When coach first named me, I was a bit emotional. I just used to dream as a young kid of representing Fiji, but never dreamt of leading a Super Rugby side from Fiji.

“I’m just happy. It is a privilege to be part of the journey with the guys. We are the youngest side in this competition experience-wise, but we believe in ourselves, we believe in our team, and we’ll do great things.”

FD chief executive officer Brian Thorburn congratulated Nagusa saying the appointment is one of the biggest and most exciting developments in the franchise.

“Our ship, or rather, our Drua now has its first captain. We have every confidence in Nemani and Mick as they steer our team to our inaugural Super Rugby Pacific campaign.”

Byrne said the vice-captain position would be rotated among players during the season.

The team is preparing for trial matches against the Western Force and the Reds. The first Super Rugby match would be against the Waratahs in Australia on February 18.

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