The Fiji Rugby Union has today confirmed the appointment of Chris Thomson as the General Manager for the Fiji Airways Drua Franchise.
FRU CEO Mr John O’Connor also confirmed that Chris Thomson’s appointment is a secondment by the Australian Rugby Union to the FRU after agreement was reached between the Fiji Rugby Union, World Rugby and the Australian Rugby Union. The CEO FRU John Oconnor thanked World Rugby and the ARU who were instrumental in the appointment and secondment of Mr Chris Thomson.
We will shortly commence the process of identifying a suitable person who will work with and understudy Chris and take over when his secondment ends.
Mr Chris Thomson comes to the position with vast experience being a former professional rugby player himself, having played as a Lock for the Waratahs between 2009 and 2010 and for French Club Narbonne from 2010 to 2012.
Following his retirement from professional rugby, he has held several leadership roles which included working as an Assistant Coach and Assistant Team Manager with the Melbourne Rebels. More recently he was the acting General Manager for the Melbourne Rising Team that also competes in the NRC.
O’Connor says that Mr Thomson’s brings with him relevant qualifications, skills and experience which will enhance FRUs strive toward professionalism.
On his appointment, Mr Thomson highlighted that it was a privilege to work with a Team in its inaugural year of the competition and he saw it as a great opportunity to be involved with a union that has been successful over the past 18 months.
“The importance of the Fiji Airways Drua in the NRC competition is to increase the depth of Fijian players and provide a pathway for them to become a Flying Fijian. It is putting them on show to the world and it’s a learning process of how to become a professional sportsman. This is what the coaches and the management staff are trying to instill on the players.”
“I have been involved in the NRC with the Melbourne Rising since its inception and I saw it as a great opportunity. Obviously with the talent of the players and the success that the Fiji Rugby Union has had over the past 18 months with winning a gold medal in Rio and their recent success in June, winning four out of five test matches, participating in the NRC only enhances our chances, leading into the 2019 World Cup.”
“It has been a learning experience for everyone since the competition kicked off earlier this month. It was terrific to win against the Melbourne Rising, before heading home for our first game against the NSW Country Eagles in Sigatoka this weekend. Hopefully it’s the first of many this season and the team really looks to be getting on really well.”
The CEO FRU and Chris Thompson, have urged fans to come down in numbers and support the Fiji Airways Drua at Lawaqa Park on Saturday.
The match between the Fiji Airways Drua and the NSW Country Eagles kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday 16th September 2017