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Lovodua’s Turn

This is the moment Hull FC hooker Joe Lovodua is waiting for.
26 Jul 2022 16:13
Lovodua’s Turn
Vodafone Fijian Bati hooker Joe Lovodua (sitting down) and first five Brandon Wakeham celebrate a try in the 2019 Oceania Cup’s 44-18 win over Samoa at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: NRL.com

This is the moment Hull FC hooker Joe Lovodua is waiting for.

The Super League sensation finally has got the chance to own the position in the Fijian Bati rugby league side after first choice hooker Api Koroisau has decided put his hand up for Australia.

Koroisau told Fox Sports that he wants to play for the Kangaroos at this year’s Rugby League World Cup in England from October 15-Novem­ber 19.

The Lautoka-born Lovodua was understudy­ing Koroisau when they played for the Bati at the 2018 World Cup.

He had been playing for South Sydney Rabbi­tohs before signing up with Super League club Hull FC.

When contacted yesterday, Bati coach, Joe Ra­bele said, he was grateful to Koroisau for his loyalty to Fiji.

“He had been dedicated to the Bati all these years and we wish him well,” Rabele said.

“We’re grateful to Koroisau for making his move and this has opened up a door of opportu­nity for other players.

“We’ve got Joe Lovodua next in line followed by Penioni Tagituimua, a local-based rep.”

Lovodua’s versatility to play either at hooker or halfback or first five has been impressive and was regarded as Super League’s best buy of the season.

His team-mate Jamie Shaul praised Lovodua for having featured in both the halves and at hooker this season due to injuries and suspen­sions.

“Joe Lovodua has done really well,” the 29-year-old told Love Rugby League.

“He’s signed for us as a hooker and I reckon he’s played in nearly every position. And he’s probably played to the best of his ability in the other positions. He’s probably the buy of the season in Super League to be fair.

“Joe has been great for us. He brings a spark and some energy. It’s not easy swapping posi­tions. It’s something I definitely couldn’t do it.

“So for him to do it and play as well as he does in different positions, I take my hat off to him.”

Decision

Koroisau’s decision to nominate himself for Australian selection comes after several play­ers declared their allegiance to rival nations, including his Panthers team-mate, Brian To’o (Samoa) and Victor Radley (England).

Despite representing Fiji on 16 occasions, Ko­roisau told Triple M that he would be happy to wear the green and gold.

“I would love an opportunity to play for Aus­tralia. I grew up here and I’ve lived my whole life here,” said Koroisau, who faces stiff com­petition for a spot on the squad from the likes of Harry Grant, Ben Hunt and Damien Cook.

“Obviously I have a great connection with Fiji too and I’m so proud to be Fijian.

“I’d definitely love an opportunity to play for Australia but whatever happens at the end of the year happens then. I’ll probably worry about that at the end of the year.”

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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