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NRL Top Guns Coming

Top National Rugby League (NRL) players were named in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII to take on the Fijian Prime Minister’s XIII at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on October 11.
01 Oct 2019 12:04
NRL Top Guns Coming
NSW Blues winger Blake Ferguson and Vodafone Fijian Bati winger Pio Seci.

Top National Rugby League (NRL) players were named in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII to take on the Fijian Prime Minister’s XIII at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on October 11.

The NRL players are Wade Graham, Reed Mahoney, Mitch Moses, Clint Gutherson, Ben Hunt, Blake Ferguson, Payne Paas and Nathan Brown.

After showing a keen interest last year, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was again heavily involved in helping men’s coach Mal Meninga pick the players for the clash.

Sharks back-rower Graham will captain the men’s team and is one of five players to have represented Australia. The side includes 12 debutants.

“The Prime Minister’s XIII match is a key match in the representative calendar for a number of reasons,” Meninga said.

“It’s part of the representative pathway that rewards the players strong performances from the premiership season, as well as showcasing the positive impact rugby league has for communities throughout the Pacific.

“The Prime Minister and I had some discussions recently about the make-up of the side and believe we’ve struck a solid balance of youth and experience for next Friday’s fixture in Suva.”

Both the men’s and women’s side will travel to Brisbane next Monday (October 7), before departing to Fiji the following day (Tuesday).

FIJIAN PM’S XIII

Vodafone Fijian Bati head coach Brandon Costin believes local-based players need to improve their mental aspects of their game to fully realise their potential.

Costin was speaking ahead of the Fijian PM XIII’s clash against their Australian counterparts.

“There’s a lot of education that needs to happen between now and the game. We’ve been doing sort of fitness in the last few months,” he said.

“We are going to increase the awareness, the education and the development of the players and team as a whole. It will be more mental than it will be physical.

“We need to play a style of footy that is framed to be competitive against the best rugby league nation in the world so that players individually show their skills.”

Costin emphasised that the team need to focus on their defensive pattern to match the Australians.

“We will be working on our defence because we going to have strong athletic players coming against us.

“So we need to have a strong discipline defensive structure and teach them how to work effectively as a team which is very important.”

Costin added the inclusion of overseas based players will add experience and depth in the team’s preparation ahead of the game.

“There are players that’ve played in the Vodafone Cup but are currently living overseas as they got contracts there.

He has called on all their supporters to come out in big numbers to support the event.

Australian PM’s XIII men’s squad: Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels), Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys), Paul Momirovski (Wests Tigers), Brad Parker (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Blake Ferguson (Parramatta Eels), Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels), Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons), Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), Wade Graham © (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks). Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans), Reuben Garrick (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), David Fifita (Brisbane Broncos), Reed Mahoney (Parramatta Eels), Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Chad Townsend (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Thomas Flegler (Brisbane Broncos), Coach: Mal Meninga

Fijian Prime Ministers XIII men’s squad: Josua Waqavesi (West Coast Storms Nadi), Maika Tudravu (Army Bears), Pio Seci (Queensland), Luke Nadurutalo (Nadera Panthers), Ropate Tobe (Army Bears), Mosese Qionimacawa (Country Rugby League South Australia), Penioni Tagituimua (Nadera Panthers), Waisea Nasekai (Ravoravo Rabbitohs), Apimeleki Lutu (West Dolphins Nadi), Tikiko Noke (Snax Tigers PNG), Jeff Vatubua (Country Rugby League South Australia), Maika Serulevu (West Dolphin), Joasa Drodrolagi (Western Suburbs Magpies, Australia), Inia Toko (Ravoravo Rabbitohs), Seru Cakobau (Country Rugby League, Australia), Osea Sadrau (West Coast Storms Nadi), Timoci Namotokula (Country Rugby League Australia), Rupeni Korosaya (Nadera Panthers).

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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