Cash strapped Fiji expand touring party to 45

Cash-strapped Fiji will send 15 officials to accompany 30 players on its three-match end of year rugby tour to Europe.

The official contingent in the 45-strong tour party will include two physiotherapists, a media officer, administrative officer, a trainer and video analyst, the Fiji Times newspaper reported.

The Fiji Rugby Union has been struggling for some time to find a major sponsor for its national team but its chief executive, Keni Dakuidreketi, denied the tour party was extravagant.

“Under the IRB Tier One test rules, each union is allowed 30 players and a management team of up to 15,” Dakuidreketi told the Times.

“For the costs, FRU will pay for the airfares and the allowances while the host unions will cater for all other costs from the time we land in the respective country.

“This will be for the 45 tour squad but as for any extra, FRU will have to fork out itself.”

Dakuidreketi said Fiji was a top-10 rugby nation – ranked eighth in the world on IRB listings – and had to act accordingly.

“Everyone we are taking is for a reason and those like a video analyst, who we want to learn and get used to the new technology,” he said.

“At the same time we will have trainer Naca Cawanibuka who will work with experts there.”

Fiji will play Scotland on Nov. 15, Ireland on Nov. 22 and Romania on Nov. 29.

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