MELBOURNE (CNA) – Fiji are looking to submit documentation to New Zealand Rugby within days that will show the viability of adding a team to Super Rugby in 2022, the nation’s rugby boss John O’Connor said on Friday.
World Rugby have pledged funding to help Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika, a second Pacific islands team comprised of Tonga and Samoan players, join Super Rugby, subject to NZR’s sign-off.
“We’re working hard to make sure we can show that we can meet the requirements by the end of the month,” Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive O’Connor told a news agency.
“Then it will be decided if we can have a licence and then we can start to sign players and everything.
“We don’t need to have sponsorship in place but we do need to illustrate that there will be private investment in the ownership of the team.
“We are currently in the process of tidying some things up.”
O’Connor said the bid had attracted interest from local Fijian companies and negotiations were in train with a private investor but he declined to provide details, citing a confidentiality agreement.
Fijian Drua compete in Australia’s lower-tier National Rugby Championship and won the title in 2018.
Rugby powers Australia and New Zealand have long mulled adding Pacific teams to Super Rugby but doubts about the financial viability stalled momentum. O’Connor said NZR and World Rugby had been hugely supportive but the team needed to show it could raise between NZD8 million and NZD10 million to meet ongoing costs.