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Former All Blacks assistant Mick Byrne expected to coach Fiji – report

By Finn Morton
Coach Mick Byrne of the Drua looks on ahead of the round five Super Rugby Pacific match between Highlanders and Fijian Drua at Forsyth Barr Stadium, on March 25, 2023, in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne is set to leave the improving Super Rugby Pacific outfit at the end of the season to take up the top job with the national team, according to a report.

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Byrne, 65, has experience at the international level as an assistant coach with both the All Blacks and Wallabies, but has spent the last three years with the Fijian Drua.

The AFL premiership winner led the Drua to their first-ever trip to the playoffs last time around, with the Fijians falling to eventual champions the Crusaders in the quarter-finals.

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This season, the seventh-placed Drua are currently on track for another trip to the finals. It would be a fitting sendoff for Byrne who is reportedly “expected to step away from leading the Drua.”

New Zealand Herald scribe Liam Napier has reported that “several sources” have revealed that Bryne “will soon be preparing to coach against Scott Robertson’s men.” The Flying Fijians are set to take on the All Blacks during the July internationals in San Diego.

But before that, Fiji’s first match in 2024 is against the Barbarians at Twickenham on June 22 – the same day as the Super Rugby Pacific final. Fiji will also face Georgia during the Test window.

It’s understood that Byrne was up against Senirusi Seruvakula for the role. Seruvakula has previously coached the Fiji women’s team and the Fijiana Drua to a Super W title.

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