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Fijian Drua announce inaugural Super Rugby Pacific captain

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

The Fijian Drua have announced Fiji international Nemani Nagusa as the their captain for the franchise’s first-ever season in Super Rugby Pacific.

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Nagusa was confirmed as the Drua’s captain on Friday, and the veteran No 8 brings with him a wealth of experience into the role.

At 33-year-old, Nagusa has 18 test caps to his name, having made his international debut for Fiji against Georgia in 2012, with his most recent test appearance coming against the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua three years ago.

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At domestic level, Nagusa has played in England for Premiership side Newcastle, as well as second-tier French club Aurillac and New Zealand province Tasman.

Nagusa is no stranger to leadership roles, having captained both the Fijian sevens team and Fiji Warriors side on numerous occasions.

In a statement released on Friday, Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne said Nagusa’s work ethic, leadership qualities and attitude made him an ideal candidate to lead the Drua in their maiden Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

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

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“Nemani commands the respect of the players, coaching staff and club management. I’m very proud to have him as my right hand man and leader; he deserves this honour of being the first ever captain of our Drua.”

Nagusa added that he was humbled by his captaincy appointment, which he described as “a huge honour”.

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

“It’s a huge honour. I am grateful to God and to my family for their unyielding support throughout my rugby career.

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“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.”

Fijian Drua chief executive Brian Thorburn offered his congratulations to Nagusa as he labelled his appointment as the franchise’s captain as “one of the biggest and most exciting developments in our very short history”.

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

The Fijian Drua, which joins Moana Pasifika as the two new expansion franchises in Super Rugby Pacific this season, will open its campaign against the Waratahs at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta on February 18.

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B.J. Spratt 20 minutes ago
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