The Fiji Rugby Union has today confirmed that it had on behalf of itself, the Tonga and Samoa Rugby Unions submitted a bid for a Pacific Island Super Rugby Franchise to be based in Fiji to SANZAAR on the 30th of June 2018 in compliance with the bid timelines.
The CEO of FRU confirmed that SANZAAR had acknowledged the bid and was impressed with the quality and professionalism of the bid considering the short time duration provided to put the bid together.
FRU CEO Mr. John O’Connor also highlighted that after several rounds of meetings and discussions with SANZAAR and submissions of other required documentations, SANZAAR on the 28th of August 2018 had informed FRU that the bid was unsuccessful.
SANZAAR determined that requirements around defined Key Performance Criteria including an ability to deliver a commercial uplift in both broadcasting and guaranteed underwrite would render the viability of a Pacific Super Team under the proposed SANZAAR commercial model unsustainable
Both the Tonga Rugby Union and the Samoa Rugby Union have been advised of the outcome of the Bid.
Mr. O’Connor highlighted that the FRU had initial preliminary discussions with Mr. Richard Fale who had also submitted a bid for a Pacific Team to be based in the USA and to play most of its home games in Hawaii and USA. However, the FRU did not support the Bid since it proposed to initially use Pacific Island players who were not eligible to play for the three Island Nations, players who had already played for the All Blacks, Australia, England and other Nations.
The FRU has not engaged nor offered support for the Bid that has been circulating via the social media which is seeking the support of Dwayne Johnson.
FRU is committed to seeking pathways for our players but will not render our support to any bid which does not support giving opportunities for players who are eligible to represent the three Pacific Islands.