This week, Fiji will be hosting the first-ever PacificAus Sports Vuvale Round, which will feature a variety of rugby-focused activities leading up to the main event, the Super Rugby Pacific match between Fijian Drua and Waratahs and Fijian Drua women’s first home game of the season against Waratahs as part of the Super Rugby Women competition – both games are being held at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Throughout the week leading up to the double-header match, there will be the following activities:

Oceania Women in Rugby Network Forum

The Oceania Women in Rugby Network Forum will be held from March 20 to 22 and will be attended by women in rugby from the region. The forum brings together influential female leaders who have completed the Oceania Rise Rugby Women’s Governance and Mentoring Programme to contribute to the region’s strategic plan to grow women’s rugby. The Forum is an essential step in promoting and supporting women’s rugby in the Pacific.

Amongst those attending is World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient and leading Fiji lawyer Ana Tuiketei, who said she looks forward to meeting other Pacific women in rugby leaders at the forum workshops to network, learn from them and create great friendships.

Deaf Rugby High-Performance camp

In addition, Australian Deaf Rugby head coach David Kearsey will lead a two-day Deaf Rugby High-Performance camp for Fijian deaf rugby players and staff at King Charles Park in Nadi. The camp, which will run from 20-21 March will allow Fijian players and staff to learn from one of the best in the business and gain valuable experience and knowledge in coaching deaf sports.

Nemani Nadolo and Lote Tuqiri conduct a community outreach activity

Renowned Fijian rugby legends Nemani Nadolo and Lote Tuqiri are set to conduct a training session for the Lautoka Maroons women’s team on Thursday, 21 March, as they gear up to participate in the ANZ Marama Championship. This initiative underscores the duo’s commitment to community outreach and empowering more Fijian women in rugby.

Fijian Drua and Waratahs players visit local school

Fijian Drua and Waratahs players are teaming up to visit Nawaka Primary School to participate with students for an exciting Get into Rugby PLUS clinic. Supported by the Australian Government’s Team Up program, Get into Rugby PLUS embeds life skills learning with rugby union.The players can’t wait to inspire the students and share their passion for the game. It’s extra special because Nawaka Primary School is where Drua’s Captain Meli Derenalagi attended as a child.

PacificAus Sports Vuvale Round is a joint initiative between the Australian and Fijian governments and rugby unions. It aims to strengthen ties between the two countries through sport. Saturday’s games will provide an opportunity for the two countries to come together and celebrate their shared love for the game.

Fijian Drua CEO Mark Evans said, “We are delighted to be hosting the inaugural PacificAus Sports Vuvale Round in Fiji. We are grateful to the Australian government for their continued support for the Drua and for making this event possible.”

In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Waratahs will face the Drua in Fiji for the first time. Both teams are eager for the match, with the Waratahs hoping to avoid a loss to the Fijian Drua, who have so far been unbeatable at home.

Prominent rugby players, officials, and government dignitaries from Australia are anticipated to be present at the matches.