Flooding forces Fijian Drua to relocate

The Fijian Drua have relocated to the Gold Coast for 10 days because of the ongoing flood-risk in northern New South Wales.

Rising water levels in the town of Lismore forced the closure of the team's base camp at Lake Ainsworth, with on-site residents including the Drua squad and staff having to evacuate.

The squad moved out of camp on Wednesday and has relocated to the Gold Coast where they will play the New South Wales Waratahs tonight, before taking on the Brumbies in Brisbane next weekend.

CEO Brian Thorburn said they had no choice but to move the entire squad to another state.

"It was challenging to move almost 55 people with just a few hours' notice, but we have managed to find suitable accommodation with training facilities nearby for our entire squad of players and staff," he said.

"Of course, our situation pales in comparison to those folks in northern New South Wales and the Northern Rivers region, as they brace themselves for yet more adversity. Our thoughts are with them."

Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 and will not be involved in tonight's match at Cbus Stadium.

"Mick is clearly gutted not to be with the team but remains in good spirits as he completes his recovery and self-isolation period," Thorburn said.

"He continues to call the shots, of course, and the players are in the very capable hands of our coaching and management staff."

Former Fiji Under-20s and Fiji Warriors captain Tuidraki Samusamuvodre will make his run-on debut for the Drua this evening.

The utility back will start on the right wing and said he was grateful for the opportunity and also a bit nervous.

"As a kid I always dreamt of playing in this competition, this level, watching big teams like the Crusaders and other teams. I've been dreaming about it and now the day has come."