Super Rugby Pacific: Baselala optimistic; team well prepared

Philip Baselala makes a pass during the Fijian Drua captain run at the HFC Bank Stadium yesterday (March 31, 2023). Picture: JONA KONATACI

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team is ready to play against the Melbourne Rebels team, says 18-year-old high school sensation Philip Baselala.

Baselala is one of the youngest players to sign a full Super Rugby Pacific contract after he was awarded the full-time contract with the Fijian Drua early this year.

The team was out visiting students and teachers of Draiba Primary School with members of the Melbourne Rebels and Fijiana Drua yesterday.

“We thank the school for allowing us to come and speak to the children,” he said.

“It was an honour to meet and encourage the students to keep pushing for their dreams in sports and academically as well.”

The former Suva Grammar School under-18 player replaced Drua halfback, Simione Kuruvoli who is recovering from a shoulder surgery.

Baselala played his first official game for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua during the teams match against Melbourne Rebels side trial match in early February this year.

“I really enjoyed my first match with the team it was such a great delight to play with the brothers.

“Preparations was a bit intense for us back in Nadi but the team is well prepared now for the match tomorrow (today) and we are all looking forward to it.”

Baselala said the team had been preparing hard to play against the Melbourne Rebels.

He said the team had been receiving so much ‘love’ from members of the public, especially from his family and friends.

“My family and friends are in Suva and will be watching on Saturday. There are a lot of expectations especially from our Suva fans but the team is excited to play.”

Baselala urged all rugby lovers to support the teams playing today.

“So come down to the HFC Stadium and cheer for both teams, the men and Fiji Women’s Fijiana team.”

The Drua will meet the Melbourne Rebels today at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

The match will kick-off at 3.35pm.

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