The Fijian Drua side is expecting a ruthless Crusaders team when the two sides clash this weekend at Churchill Park in round 3 of the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby season.

Coach Mick Byrne says with the Drua coming off a loss against the Waratahs last week, the side is also hungry for a win as they want to put smiles on the faces of home fans.

Byrne says they are fully aware that their match with the defending champions will be a tough one, even though they are playing at home.

“We don’t expect them to be anything other than what they have been the past 10 years, they are 6 times Super champions, and they are that for a reason and we saw that last week the response they had losing at home.”

Byrne says they had a disappointing final 20 minutes last week with the Tahs and this is an area they have worked on for this crucial first home game of the season.

He says there’s also expected to be changes to the line up following a few players that suffered injuries.

Drua CEO Mark Evans is calling on fans to come out in numbers and support them as they will be the crucial 16th player.

“The fans, the full stadium, noise, colour and the vibrancy is absolutely essential part of what the Drua is about.”

Burne says they experienced this last year while playing at home where the players responded well to fans during matches.

He says they want Churchill Park to be a sea of blue on game day.

“The boys will be really looking forward to our 16th player or our 16 thousand players who will be there for us to help cheer us on as we take on the Super Rugby champion.”

The Drua coach also says for them, playing the Crusaders this early during the season is perfect as they can challenge themselves against the best side.

Byrne says they will need to be physical and play smart rugby during the full 80 minutes.

The Drua play the Crusaders this Saturday at 3.35pm in Lautoka.

Meanwhile, Jack’s of Fiji has secured branding rights on all referees and ball kids’ kits for the Drua’s home matches.