The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua has today confirmed the appointment of talismanic backrower Meli Derenalagi as the season captain.

He will be at the helm for the 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific campaign. The Flying Fijians loose forward has been with Fijian Drua since its inception and a standout leader on and off the field through the Club’s first two seasons. 

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua Head Coach Mick Byrne said: “Meli is no stranger to the role having been the captain last season and we look forward to seeing him take on the challenge once again as we head into 2024 Super Rugby Pacific competition with seven crucial home games here in Fiji. As a young leader, this is a learning process for Meli and we are confident that he will continue to grow even further. He will be strongly supported by the leadership of Mesake Doge, Tevita Ikanivere and Iosefo Masi. These group of men have been an immense support to me and my coaching staff.”

Derenalagi was part of the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal winning Fiji 7s team and made 5 appearances for the Flying Fijians during the 2023 Rugby World Cup with 19 appearances for the Drua since his debut in 2022. The 25-year-old has recorded two tries in the Super Rugby Pacific competition and was the recipient of the 2023 Drua Try of the Year award after his season-defining try against the Hurricanes last year. 

Derenalagi will first lead the Drua in their trial match in Canberra against the ACT Brumbies.