Australia backs Pacific Women’s Rugby

  • Media Release

The Australian Government's PacificAus Sports program is partnering with Rugby Australia and Oceania Rugby to accelerate the development of women's rugby in the Pacific.

Building on the success of the Fijiana Drua Rugby team's inaugural Super W campaign and championship title in 2022, PacificAus Sports will provide scholarships to six players selected from the 2022 Oceania Rugby Women's Combine from Samoa and Tonga to join Australian Super W clubs in 2023 on initial one-season contracts.

Tongan athletes Shonte To'a and Tilila Hifo will join the ACT Brumbies. Samoa's Easter Savelio and Fa'alua loe Tugaga will join the Melbourne Rebels, while Penina Tuilaepa and Angelica Uila will join the Western Force.

The Australian Government will continue to support the Fijiana Drua's participation in the Super W competition, including the staging of two home matches in Fiji in 2023. Fijiana home matches draw large crowds in Fiji where rugby is the national sport.

Through PacificAus Sports, Rugby Australia and Oceania Rugby are also working with Pacific Unions to develop their current and emerging talent and create greater opportunities for Pacific teams and players to participate in Australian and regional rugby competitions.

Attributable to the Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific:

“Rugby Union brings people, and the Pacific, closer together. I know this firsthand having seen my daughter's passion for rugby grow from us watching the Fijiana Drua win the Super W championship.

There are fantastic opportunities for Pacific players to represent their countries on the world stage. I look forward to seeing our region show what they have got at the 2027 and 2029 Rugby World Cups in Australia, the Victorian 2026 Commonwealth Games and 2032 Brisbane Olympics.”

Attributable to the Andy Marinos, Rugby Australia CEO:

“PacificAus Sports funding is assisting more Pacific women to play Rugby and compete in the Buildcorp Super W competition – the Southern Hemisphere's premier Women's Rugby competition. It is great to see their success in Rugby is driving change on and off the field in Australia and the Pacific.”

Attributable to Cathy Wong, Women's Director, Oceania Rugby:

“Oceania Rugby is proud to be driving this initiative through our partnership with the Australian Government and Rugby Australia supported by World Rugby. Having these six players spending time in the 2023 Super W season will be game-changing for Women's Rugby in the Pacific.”

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7840
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555