Derenalagi ‘on track’ for Super Rugby start, says Byrne

Fijian Drua player Meli Derenalagi will captain the team in the 2023 season. Picture: FILE.

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua captain Ratu Meli Derenalagi is on track to be fully fit before the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season starts in February.

This was confirmed by head coach Mick Byrne during their 38-member squad announcement in Nadi on Monday.

Derenalagi underwent surgery to his knee during the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.

“He is going well and has started running. He is looking good and has been working out in the gym focusing on his upper body,” he said.

Byrne said Derenalagi was a big man and him working on his upper body had been beneficial for the Olympic gold medallist.

“He is moving across the ground really well so at this stage, he is on track for an early start to the season.”

The Drua will kick off their Super Rugby campaign Against Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 25.

The Drua will play six home games with the two finalists from last year — the Crusaders and the Blues — to show up at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

The Drua will host the Crusaders in Lautoka on March 11, the Blues on April 29 and Moana Pasifika on May 27.

At the HFC Bank Stadium, the side will be up against the Reds on March 19, the Hurricanes on May 6 and the Rebels on April 1.

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