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World Rugby move to stabilise Fiji Rugby Union

By Ian Cameron
Fiji rugby crest and jersey before the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

World Rugby are moving to stabilise the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) after months of internal crisis behind the scenes on the Pacific island nation.

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In February, Vern Cotter resigned as Fiji men’s head coach seven months before the World Cup and two months later all FRU board directors resigned (effective May 1st), while the union cancelled its Annual General Meeting scheduled on 29 April.

The governing body have now a agreed a ‘robust’ roadmap to set the union back on the straight and narrow ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

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The national teams will be unaffected by the move, with the stream of high performance funding to continue uninterrupted.

A World Rugby statement reads: “Following recent publicised governance challenges arising within the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU), World Rugby, together with the FRU, the Government of the Republic of Fiji and Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC), have set out a collaborative roadmap to ensure short-term stability, continuity of current programmes and protect future preparations for major events, while the wider governance topics are addressed on a long-term basis.

“The Fiji Minister of Justice appointed an Interim Board of Trustees and an Administrator for the FRU and World Rugby engaged in urgent meetings with stakeholders to better understand the issues and how best to support.

“The resulting roadmap, endorsed by the World Rugby Council and Executive Board, outlines three pillars to restore stability and ringfence the FRU’s participation in rugby’s international competitions:

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High Performance and Development – to ensure stability and continued success of the international teams’ programmes

Governance – to ensure governance challenges are resolved with ultimate aim of appointment of duly elected representatives from within the Fiji Rugby structures and adoption of clear constitutional/corporate framework

Day-to-day administration – Ensure effective day-to-day administration of Fiji Rugby Union

“Each pillar has been assigned clear leadership, roles and responsibilities and the overall oversight of the roadmap’s implementation have been granted to Dr Robin Mitchell (President, Oceania National Olympic Committees) and Cathy Wong (Vice-President, Fiji?Association of Sports and?National Olympic Committee and World Rugby Council representative). A review of the position will be conducted in January 2024.

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“In line with good governance practice, at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, the World Rugby Council, following a recommendation by its Executive Board, took the decision to suspend the FRU from the international federation’s Council while the robust recovery roadmap is implemented.

“During this interim period, the FRU will remain a member of World Rugby subject to compliance with conditions set out within shared roadmap developed by the international federation, the FRU, the Government of Fiji and FASANOC.

“This interim solution will allow the FRU to continue its participation in World Rugby tournaments while protecting high performance programmes for Fiji men’s and women’s 15s and sevens programmes. It also ensures that Fiji’s international teams can prepare as normal for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2023 in France and qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

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Comments

2 Comments
R
Robert 401 days ago

Surely the introduction off Evans recently has made a difference ?

R
Rob 402 days ago

Same old decades of nonsense in Fiji Rugby.
Generation after generation they appear to have new brooms with the same brush.

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