14 Locals In Fiji Bati Squad

They will compete against NRL stars like Maika Sivo, Apisai Koroisau, Viliame Kikau, Tui Kamikamica, to name a few.
23 Dec 2020 11:59
14 Locals In Fiji Bati Squad
Fiji Bati extended squad members, from left: Mosese Qionimacawa, Apakuki Tavodi, Apimeleki Lutu and Pio Seci at the FNRL gym on December 21, 2020. Photo: Sereana Salalo

The Fiji National Rugby League yesterday named a 47-member squad in preparation for 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

And 14 local players are vying for a spot in the 16th RLWC which will be held in England on October 23-November 27.

The locals include former Fiji Residents captain, Apakuki Tavodi, Pio Seci, Ratu Luke Nadurutalo, Mosese Qionimacawa, Apimeleki Lutu and Ravoravo Rabbitohs captain, Tikiko Noke.

They will compete against NRL stars like Maika Sivo, Apisai Koroisau, Viliame Kikau, Tui Kamikamica, to name a few.

The final squad is expected to be in Fiji in October and will march into camp, a week before World Cup kicks off.

FNRL acting chief executive officer, Don Natabe, indicated two technical directors are expected to be named next month to assist Coach Joe Rabele.

“We’ve two best scenarios, one of which in the best given situation, the team will assemble in Fiji on October 9, a week away from leaving for the UK,” he said.

However, Natabe added that they were looking at other scenarios like self-isolate quarantine before they all meet in the United Kingdom if they were unable to go to Australia, for those staff and players selected in Fiji.

“There are a lot of other scenarios that we have but we are working closely with Rugby League World Cup 2021, in organising team camps.

“We will name the two technical directors, one of which is an NRL coach and the other is a Super League coach.”

Burenitu Cowboys captain Tavodi, said they would try their best to compete against the NRL players in the extended squad.

Tavodi, and most of the local players are also contracted with the Kaiviti Silktails for the Ron Massey Cup.

“There are a lot of challenges and we have to match their standard,” he said.

“We are only playing in the local competitions, and trying to reach their standard.

“And also being selected to the Kaiviti Silktails is a great opportunity for us locals, to have that atmosphere.

The lock from Burenitu, Ra, is named for the Bati World Cup side for the first time.

“There are a lot of big names there and I will try and work hard for that position.

“The Silktails programme is an advantage, compared to playing in the local competition, being into that level, playing abroad is also a platform which is will enable us locals to fit in the shoes of the big names that are already in the squad.

“I was last selected in the Bati extended squad in the Battle of the Bati in 2017 but did not make it the final squad. Like any Fijian player, our aim is to represent our country.”

Extended Squad

Kevin Naiqama, Taane Milne, Semi Valemei, Tyronne Phillip’s, Lovodua Joe, Brayden Wiliame,Akuila Uate, Maika Sivo, Issac Lumelume, Kane Evan’s, Apisai Koroisau, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jason Bukuya, Tariq Sims, Corbin Sims, D’Rhys Miller, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Marcelo Montoya, Mikaela Ravalawa, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Viliame Kikau, Pioneer Sokobalavu, Tui Kamikamica, Be Nakubuwai, Brendon Wakham, Isaac Lumelume, Pio Seci, Penioni Tagituimua, Ratu Timoci Namotokula, Apakuki Tavodi, Waisake Vesikula, Tikiko Noke, Ratu Luke Nadurutalo, Maika Tudravu, Joseph Ratu Vakacereivalu, Waqa Blake, Apimeleki Lutu, Lar Liolavave, King Vuniyayawa, Ropate Tobe, Rusiate Ratu, Maika Serulevu, Meli Nabura, Josaia Rabouliku,

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