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Building For The Future

National Rugby League (NRL) stars such as Viliame Kikau, Marika Koroibete and Suliasi Vunivalu were discovered at secondary school level and Costin believes there is more talent to be found out there.
28 Jan 2020 16:37
Building For The Future
Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League team captains during the launch at the Vodafone Booth at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on January 27, 2020. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Vodafone Fiji Bati coach Brandon Costin will be selecting players during the Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League competition for a Junior Bati Development team for an overseas tour this year.

The competition was launched at the Vodafone Booth at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday, with registration from four new schools.

National Rugby League (NRL) stars such as Viliame Kikau, Marika Koroibete and Suliasi Vunivalu were discovered at secondary school level and Costin believes there is more talent to be found out there.

He said the tour will help the Fiji Bati team in the future.

“They will play against current NRL contracted Fijians so what I’m looking for is the heritage-based Australian Fiji player versus the local based players,” he said.

“That’s really going to highlight who the future Bati players will be and what it’s going to do for our local players is get them into professional NRL clubs.

“Even though we will have the students going away on tour, it’s going to be a Vodafone Junior Fiji Bati Development squad and they’ll go to Australia at the end of the school year after exams.”

He said that the team will be a selection of Under-20 and U19 players.

The ultimate goal will be to secure contracts for the players and develop them for the senior Bati side.

“So if anyone is playing really well at the local level they will get a professional contract,” Costin said.“Those who do make this touring squad and the ones that don’t have professional contracts will get a Silktails contract here in Fiji.”

Costin added the team will have constant trials to develop and identify talents in the country.

“We have a trial where 40 boys from West and the East that will show themselves,” he said.

“We will have numerous trials as we go through this year. There is a whole 12 months of development for these boys in terms of fitness and training.

“The pathway for rugby league in Fiji is well and truly open; the doors are open for our 18 and 19-year-old kids to absolutely change their lives for the better, change for the families, villages and communities by playing rugby league.”

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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