The Fijian Drua are aware the Crusaders will want to exact revenge for their loss in Fiji last year.

The Drua stunned the defending champions when they last met at Churchill Park a year ago, with flyhalf Kemu Valetini kicking a last-gasp penalty to clinch an upset 25-24 victory.

Coach Mick Byrne said his side are battle ready to expect another gritty battle this weekend against the Crusaders, who like the Drua, have yet to register a win in the opening two rounds of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific.

“That will be on their mind, probably when they pick their team too but when the players get here, they will be doing everything they can to get the victory for their team and it will be no different for ours.

We’re not thinking back to last year, thinking we won that game so we should win this game like they’re thinking. I think that’s the peripheral thought. I think the key is the performance. We know that if we want to have the victory on Saturday, we have to come out and get everything right with our game.”

Meanwhile, Fijian Drua lock Isoa Nasilasila will be out for three to four weeks.

Head coach Mick Byrne said the man they call ‘Ice’ injured his ankle.

Byrne said they will continue to monitor Nasilasila’s rehabilitation for now.

“It’s not as bad as first thought because the way the injury went and how he went, there was a fear of syndesmosis which is a really nasty ankle injury, he’s been cleared of that so that’s really positive but its still a three to four week window.”

Nasilasila is the Drua player that has played more minutes since they joined the Super Rugby Pacific three years ago.

The Viseisei villager from Vuda also played in all games for the Flying Fijians last year.

Good news for the Drua is that Ilaisa Droasese and Taniela Rakuro both ran well in a brutal session under the Nadi heat Wednewsday.

In another development, the taste of Fijian Drua just got better after McDonalds Fiji joined its family of sponsors.

McDonalds will board the Drua for three years and its logo will prominently feature on the main playing jersey of the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women’s team, as well as on digital and social platforms of the club.

Both organisations have also announced Ronald McDonald House Charities Fiji as the official charity of the Drua.

Drua chief executive Mark Evans welcomes McDonalds Fiji to their sponsorship vuvale and hails their support of the Drua women.

Evans said having the support of one of the world’s most recognisable brands is outstanding for the franchise.

McDonalds Fiji Managing Director Marc McElrath says this is a fantastic opportunity for them and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Fijian Drua Women’s team will start its 2024 campaign next week against the Queensland Reds in Ballymore, Brisbane next Saturday.

They’ll be presenting their I-Tatau to President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere at the State House today.

The Drua host the Crusaders at 1:05 pm on Saturday at Churchill Park in Lautoka.