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Bati 2021 Boost

The inclusion of five Fiji-linked players in the Saint George Illawarra team for the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) sea­son will bolster the Vodafone Fi­jian Bati at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
24 Dec 2019 16:21
Bati 2021 Boost
Tariq Sims in action for New South Wales.

The inclusion of five Fiji-linked players in the Saint George Illawarra team for the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) sea­son will bolster the Vodafone Fi­jian Bati at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

This is according to Bati head coach, Brandon Costin, who be­lieves that more Fijian players in­volved with NRL teams will add depth to the national squad.

The players include Brayden Wil­iame, Joe Lovodua, Mikaele Raval­awa and brothers Korbin and Tariq Sims.

“Fiji Bati is stronger when we have more NRL players to choose from,” Costin said.

“My job in Fiji is to assist more lo­cal players to get to the NRL, which then makes Bati stronger so at the moment we have roughly 30 players playing in the NRL.

“Imagine how strong Bati would be if we had 100 players available. If we did have 100 we would win a World Cup.”

Costin added that having many players in one team was a good sign as they will build combinations playing alongside each other.

“So having five at one club like St George is a blessing as they stay connected with Fiji and Bati cul­ture,” he said.

“At St George, we have Korbin Sims who was captain in our last June test so he will be a good role model for the other four players which in­clude his brother Tariq.

“Brayden Williame is a great pick up for the Dragons as he was one of our best players in the Oceanic Cup series.

“Mika Ravalawa and Joe Lovodua are both pushing for first grade po­sitions but are regulars in our Bati squad.”

Costin added that having a Fijian team in the Ron Massey Cup will ac­celerate local Fijian players into the NRL.

“We would like to help as many young Fijians in Fiji get into NRL systems. There is no better time to be a part of rugby league in Fiji than right now,” he added.

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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