Penrith pair Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau and Parramatta’s Maika Sivo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Waqa Blake headline a star studded Fiji Bati squad named for the World Cup.
The Bati will be led by Sydney Roosters back Kevin Naiqama and Kikau, who are among 17 NRL stars included in the squad announced by Fiji coach Joe Rabele.
Others include Newcastle props Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, St George Illawarra second-rower Tariq Sims and Melbourne forward Tui Kamikamica
Koroisau, Campbell-Gillard, Jacob Saifiti and Sims were all members of NSW’s State of Origin campaign this season and are also under consideration by Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga.
Rabele said he wanted Koroisau to play five-eighth or hooker at the World Cup but needs an answer on his availability before the final 24-man Bati squad is announced on October 19.
“I know that he has some interest to play for the Kangaroos, but the door is still open for Api Koroisau,” Rabele told a press conference in Fiji.
“Hopefully he will get back to me because we will send invitation letters to all the clubs for all the players that we select [to confirm] if they want to be part of this program, so we are waiting for them to respond.
“We are departing for England on October 25 so before we depart we need to select our best team that we can for the World Cup.”
📰 Players battling for fitness ahead of RLWC2021, more exciting warm-up fixtures announced and Rugby League diplomacy!
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) September 5, 2022
Fiji have made the semi-finals of the last three World Cups and are looking to go one step further and qualify for the final at Old Trafford on November 19.
They face Australia in their opening World Cup match at Headingley on October 15, with Italy and Scotland the other teams in Pool B.
The Bati will be based in Rochdale and begin their preparations for the World Cup with a warm-up match against hosts England at Salford on October 7.
“Hopefully all the best players will be available for this World Cup campaign,” Rabele said.
“Those players in the grand final will come after the grand final. Our warm-up match is against England so that is where we want to set up our structures for the game against Australia.”
Waqa Blake (Parramatta Eels)
Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm)
Vuate Karawalevu (Sydney Roosters)
Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers)
Apisai Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)
Lamar Manuel Liolevave (Tweed Seagulls)
Joe Lovodua (Hull FC)
Isaac Lumelume (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Netane Masima (Wests Magpies)
Laitia Moceidreke (NQ Cowboys)
Sitiveni Moceidreke (London Broncos)
Taane Milne (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Marcelo Montoya (NZ Warriors)
Kevin Naiqama (Sydney Roosters)
Ben Nakubuwai (Leigh Centurions)
Jason Qareqare (Whitehaven, UK)
Mikaele Ravalawa (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Taniela Sadrugu (NQ Cowboys)
Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
Pio Seci (Manly Sea Eagles)
Korbin Sims (Hull FC)
Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels)
Penioni Tagituimua (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Sunia Turuva (Penrith Panthers)
Joseph Vakacereivalu (Redcliffe Dolphins)
Semi Valemei (Canberra Raiders)
King Vuniyayawa (Salford Reds)
Ratu Inoke Vasuturaga (Kinoya Eagles)
Brandon Wakeham (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Siua Wong (Sydney Roosters)