The Fijian Drua has appointed highly experienced sports leader Mark Evans as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Mark brings 30 years of experience and sports leadership, administration, coaching, and education to the role.
He has previously served as Chief Executive of the Western Force (Super Rugby), Global Rapid Rugby, Melbourne Storm (NRL), Harlequins FC (English Premiership Rugby) – a club he also coached – and as Director of Rugby at Saracens FC. The appointment is a massive accomplishment for Fiji’s only professional sports team as it prepares to play its second Super Rugby Pacific season in 2023. He will take over from Interim CEO Brian Thorburn, who has been caretaking the role since the Drua’s inception and grant of license in 2021.
In addition to his extensive experience leading sports organisations, Evans has also founded and led a successful consultancy firm – Capacity Consulting – delivering several important projects for World Rugby, Rugby Football League (RFL – England), Rugby Football Union (RFU – UK), Premier Rugby, and the NRL in Australia.
Consistent among the many achievements in his various roles has been his ability to turn around finances and revitalise a range of areas including commercial, governance, football operations and high performance.
“We are delighted to welcome Mark to Fiji to lead the Drua’s onward journey and help Fijian rugby reach even greater heights, said Fiji Rugby Chairman and Fijian Drua Director Commodore Humphrey Tawake.
“A strong Super Rugby Pacific franchise is critical for our aspirations of being among the top ranked rugby nations in the world. With his hands holding the oars of our drua, Mark will guide the Club to do exactly that. Fiji Rugby will also benefit from his wealth of experience in professional rugby and sports in general – both on the commercial and coaching sides.”
Commenting on his appointment, Evans said: “The opportunity to help build upon the impressive start made by the Drua was extremely attractive. Our aim is to put the whole operation on a long term, sustainable, successful path and become real force in the competition and in doing so bring pride and enjoyment to all our supporters. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Drua and Fiji Rugby vuvale soon.”
Mark Evans will begin his tenure as Fijian Drua CEO on 17 October on a three-year contract.