The Fijian Drua will farewell nine players at the conclusion of the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season.
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Chris Minimbi, Raikabula Momoedonu, Rusiate Nasove, Joseva Tamani, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Kalione Nasoko, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, and Kitione Taliga will depart the Drua after being part of the brand new franchise since its inception.
Fijian Drua Chief Executive Mark Evans expressed his gratitude towards the players in a statement, saying: “Their names will go down in history as being among those who started this Drua journey in Super Rugby Pacific. They helped make a 25-year dream a reality for Fijian Rugby by being one of the first players to don a Fijian Drua jersey. Farewells like these are always sad but doing this now allows us as a Club before the conclusion of the season to acknowledge and celebrate them.”
He added: “We have achieved much in our first two seasons of Super Rugby, due in no small part to the contribution of these nine players. On behalf of everyone in the Fijian Drua vuvale, we’d like to say a big vinaka vakalevu and sota tale to Pasi, Chris, Ricks, Rusi, Joe, Kala, Kali, Soro and Kiti.”
The departing players will be acknowledged at the final Swire Shipping Fijian Drua home match this season against the Queensland Reds. The match kicks off at 4.35pm at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva. This is a crucial match for the Drua who need a win to reach a historic first playoff spot.