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Fiji Rugby CEO resigns effective immediately with more changes possible

By Sam Smith
Fiji Rugby players and CEO pose with the Webb Ellis Cup. Photo by Mark Kolbe - World Rugby via Getty Images/World Rugby via Getty Images

John O’Connor has resigned with immediate effect from the role of Chief Executive of Fiji Rugby and the Union’s Chairman says more change can be expected.

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O’Connor spent six years in the role and oversaw tremendous growth in the island nation’s development and programs, including the completion of a world-class training centre and the introduction of the Fijian Drua Super Rugby club.

The decision to resign was described by Fiji Rugby Chairman Commodore Humphrey Tawake as due to “personal decisions” while O’Connor elaborated that upon reflection on his career, he felt it was the right time to transition.

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Tawake also said: “On behalf of the FRU Board, we would like to thank Mr O’Connor for his service and contribution not only as the leader at the Union but to the rugby community for the past six years being at the helm of FRU.”

Adding that FRU Board Director Mr Tevtia Tuiloa will be the Acting CEO as of today.

“Mr Tuiloa comes in with a lot of experience at domestic and grassroots rugby since being with Suva Rugby Union for the past seven years. He is well versed with the leadership role that consists of good governance, accountability, finance, and other necessities that is essential to run Fiji Rugby.

“The position of CEO will be advertised. We will then go through the recruitment process and the best candidate will be selected for the role.

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“Our international and local commitments do carry on and there is nothing that will have an impact and all our stakeholders including the trustees will be officially informed accordingly through the proper channels.”

Tawake also hinted at further changes to the Union’s personnel.

“New things will happen as this is the beginning of the new year. We can expect new challenges and new faces coming in, things will come and go but we will all be here for rugby.”

O’Connor released a statement thanking everyone he had worked alongside for their support over the past six years.

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“I would like to say Vinaka Vakalevu to all those who have had an input since I joined Fiji Rugby and I urge all to continue the good work and keep moving the sport of rugby to another level.”

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