League Gain Status

The hike in the number of secondary schools playing rugby league is a testament to Fiji Bati’s world ranking.
06 May 2022 10:46
League Gain Status
Ratu Kadavulevu School captain Jonathan Matiavi with defending Vodafone Fiji Secondary School U19 winning captain Lorosio Civoniceva of Nasinu Secondary School during the launch of the competition at Albert Park in Suva on May 5, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The hike in the number of secondary schools playing rugby league is a testament to Fiji Bati’s world ranking.

Yesterday, 87 schools confirmed their participation in the 2022 Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League competition. This was launched at Albert Park in Suva.

Fiji Bati’s reaching the World Cup semifinals in 2008, 2013 and 2017, and their current ranking at 5th spot in the International Rugby League’s World Rankings play a big part.

Marist Old Boys Viliame Ki­kau and Roosters recruit Vuate Karawalevu like NRL stars Semi Valemei (Ba Provincial Secondary School), Marika Koroibete (Nasinu Secondary School), Suliasi Vuni­valu (Lelean Memorial School), Jiuta Wainiqolo (Ratu Kadavulevu School) and Virimi Vakatawa (Nas­inu Secondary School) are prod­ucts of this competition.

The stakes are high as more young players now look to make it big in rugby league.

Penrith powerhouse Kikau is on a four-year deal worth just over $800,000 per season makes this pathway a lucrative path.

Speaking to Sunsports Fiji Bati head coach Joe Rabele said the in­crease in schools participating was encouraging.

“This is a positive sign for FSRL and FNRL. The increase in the number of schools will boost our Fiji Bati environment,” Rabele said.

“There are 42 teams from the South East Zone, 32 from the West­ern Zone, three new schools from the North and 10 schools to be reg­istered soon.

“We are trying to set up an acad­emy from the U15’s right to the 19’s, this platform is the biggest for us to identify new talents.

“This is the opportunity to get raw talent, introduce them to the system and guide them in the right direction.

“It’s a big blessing for rugby league in Fiji because with an academy in the pipeline it is best to start with.”

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