The Fijian Drua have confirmed backrower Nemani Nagusa will be their inaugural captain for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Nagusa made his debut for Fiji in 2012 against Georgia, representing his country on 18 occasions.
He was announced in the first wave of signings for the new club, arriving from English Premiership side Newcastle as Drua #04.
“Nemani is a real leader and showed this from the start," coach Mick Byrne said in a statement
"We have all been working hard to prepare for our inaugural Super Rugby Pacific campaign and he has led the way for many of us, myself included. He has been representing the team to the coaching staff out of his own initiative and eagerness.
“Nemani commands the respect of the players, coaching staff and club management. I’m very proud to have him as my right hand man and leader; he deserves this honour of being the first ever captain of our Drua.”
Bryne believes the 34-year-old's natural leadership skills made it an 'easy task' to appoint him as captain, set to be supported by a rotating group of vice-captains.
“Our captain is a vital leader for us not just by title but the way we operate as a group, we need to be working communication both ways- have honest conversations and when you have a person with the qualities of Nemani it becomes a very easy task,” he elaborated on at a press conference.
THREE-PEAT HUNT: Women's Sevens confirm side for Malaga
LEARNINGS: Scott-Young motivated after NPC stint
The appointment was an emotional one for Nagasa, who expressed his pride at leading Fiji into Super Rugby, having grown up idolising the likes of Crusaders legend Richie McCaw.
“I would like to thank the coaches and management for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this talented young group of men and the first ever Super Rugby side from Fiji. It’s a huge honour. I am grateful to God and to my family for their unyielding support throughout my rugby career,” he said.
“When coach first named me, I was a bit emotional. I just used to dream as a young kid of representing Fiji but never dreamt of leading a Super Rugby side from Fiji.”
“I’m just happy; it’s a privilege to be part of the journey with the guys. We’re the youngest side in this competition experience-wise, but we believe in ourselves, we believe in our team, and we’ll do great things.”