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Fijian Drua announce historic home match against Highlanders in Suva

By AAP
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Fijian Drua have rescheduled their home debut as the Australian-based outfit grapple with Covid-19 in two countries ahead of a maiden Super Rugby Pacific season.

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The Drua, who are based on the New South Wales north coast this season, were set to host the Waratahs in round seven on April 1 in Suva.

But a Fiji government ban on spectators at sporting events to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has forced them to push it back to April 30 against the Highlanders.

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Super Rugby Pacific clubs have been hit hard by positive cases, with the defending Super Rugby AU champions Queensland Reds missing 23 players when they returned to preseason training earlier this month.

“We would have loved to bring a match to Fiji earlier, but totally respect and support the decision of Fijian authorities,” Drua chief executive Brian Thorburn said.

“Public health considerations are paramount and the Drua’s thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Fijians as they battle this Omicron wave.

“We now aim to play the Highlanders in Suva on April 30 but will have to change plans again if the ‘no-spectator’ rule remains in place.

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“We’ll need a full stadium to be able to host a financially viable match in Fiji and will be guided by the authorities in these considerations.”

The Dunedin-based Highlanders boast an array of Fijian talent and have already played an official Super Rugby game in Fiji, against the Chiefs in 2018.

The Drua will make their Super Rugby Pacific debut against the Waratahs at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta on February 18.

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