Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika to join Super Rugby in major boost for Pacific Islands game

Simon Collings
·2-min read
<p>Moana Pasifika in action against the Maori All Blacks in December 2020</p> (Getty Images)

Moana Pasifika in action against the Maori All Blacks in December 2020

(Getty Images)

Pacific Islands rugby has received a major boost with two teams from the region set to join a new-look Super Rugby from 2022.

The new format will see 12 franchises - five from Australia, five from New Zealand and two from the Pacific Islands - compete against each other.

The move has been made possible by World Rugby offering a package of financial and administrative support to help the two Pacific Islands teams, which will be Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika.

Subject to New Zealand Rugby Board approval and key conditions being met, the international federation’s executive committee has approved a £1.2million annual funding package for an initial three-year period.

It is hoped the prospect of having two teams in the competition from next year will help develop local talent and prevent players from having to move abroad.

The announcement completes a journey that began when the international federation’s rugby committee met in Suva in 2016 to consider opportunities to further support Pacific Islands rugby on and off the field.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The game-changing potential of the executive committee’s decision to support Pacific Island Super Rugby franchises should not be underestimated.

“From a strategic perspective, it provides the best-possible platform and pathway for the Islands to reach their potential.

“On a human level, this is absolutely the right thing to do. It is great for the players, allowing them to make the choice for the first time to be part of a local professional team at the top level of elite club rugby.

“While recognising that there are still steps to complete, I would like to thank everyone involved, including the unions as well as New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia, for their full commitment to this project which is great for rugby.”

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