HIGH-flying Wests Tigers winger Kevin Naiqama is tipped to play a leading role for the Vodafone Fiji Bati, when they face the Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Saturday’s Test in Gold Coast, Australia.
Coach Ricky Stone has named Naiqama at fullback, leaving Melbourne Storm Marika Koroibete and St George-IIIawarra Dragon Eto Nabuli on the wings.
Fiji National Rugby League chairman Reverend Dr Immanuel Reuben said the team was a mixture of youth and experience. “We are looking to the future,” he said.
“The players Rick has selected are to carry us to the next World Cup and beyond.”
Tough Manly Sea Eagles Brayden Williame is set to make his debut for the Bati.
He is set to partner veteran South Sydney Rabbitoh Daryl Millard or Parramatta Eels’ Fabian Goodall at centre.
Millard’s younger brother Ryan is to play at first-five, where he is to combine with Penrith Panther Apisai Koroisau.
In a surprise move Stone has included the 19-year-old Saifiti twins (Jacob and Daniel) in the forwards. Fiji: Kevin Naiqama, Marika Koroibete, Fabian Goodall, Brayden Wiliame, Eto Nabuli, Darryl Millard, Ryan Millard, Eloni Vunakece, Apisai Koroisau, Daniel Saifiti, Jason Bukuya, Jacob Saifiti, Korbin Sims; Interchange: Tyrone Phillips, Viliame Kikau, Tikio Koke, Osea Sadrau, Timoci Ratulolo Dabea. The National