Fiji Sun - - Sport - WAISEA NASOKIA Edited by Osea Bola

Fiji Air­ways Drua head coach Senirusi Seru­vakula be­lieves it will be an up­hill bat­tle to de­fend the Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship this year.

The side won the ti­tle last year af­ter join­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in 2017.

“It is go­ing to be tougher to de­fend the ti­tle,” he said. “Ev­ery­one wants to beat the Drua es­pe­cially with all the Su­per Rugby play­ers go­ing back to their fran­chise and on standby for a Rugby World Cup call-up for the Wal­la­bies.”

He added they have named their 33-mem­ber squad and are in their sec­ond week of train­ing in Nadi. Some se­nior play­ers in the team in­cludes Le­vani Ku­ru­mudu, skip­per Ere­masi Radro­dro, Joeli Veitayaki, Ratu­naisa Navuma, Mos­ese Du­ci­vaki, Te­vita Naqali, Johnny Dyer , Jone Na­vori, Seru­pe­peli Vu­larika, Peni Matawalu, Cyril Reece, and Aporosa Tab­u­lawaki.

“I be­lieve we did well in our first

week. It was very phys­i­cal and ev­ery­one in the ex­tended squad at­tended be­fore we reduced the squad. “There are 33 play­ers that have been con­tracted. They have passed their phys­i­cal and other tests with the some new play­ers in the mix.

“It is all new to them es­pe­cially the train­ing. And when it goes into the sea­son it will be to­tally dif­fer­ent for them. So it is to­tally a new learn­ing for all these play­ers.” The side will play a warm-up match against the RFMF XV at Prince Charles Park in Nadi to­day, 11am.

The side re­turns to camp on Tues­day and de­parts on Wed­nes­day.

There will be two train­ing ses­sions in Bris­bane on Thurs­day and cap­tain’s run on Fri­day. The side plays their first game (against Bris­bane City) on Satur­day.

“We re­turned on Sun­day and pre­pare for the fol­low­ing week against the West­ern Force at the ANZ Sta­dium on Septem­ber 7. The turn­around is short so we need to be up to it,” he added.

Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Coach Senirusi Seru­vakula mon­i­tors Fiji Air­ways Fi­jian Drua train­ing in Nadi on Au­gust 21, 2019.

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