Kaiviti Silktails head coach Wes Naiqama believes the selection of his three key players in the Vodafone Fiji Bati 20-man squad is a reward for their hard work over the last two seasons in the Ron Massey Cup competition.
2022 Rising Star Winner Watisoni Waqanisaravi, 2023 favourite to win Silktails Player of the Year Sirilo Lovokuro and former Silktails Captain Peni Tagituimua have been named in the Fiji Bati squad to take on Cook Islands and PNG in the Pacific Championship later this month.
Naiqama in a statement said he is proud of the selection of his players and also thanked Fiji National Rugby League for recognising the potential in them.
“I am extremely proud of Watisoni and Sirilo being selected for the upcoming Pacific Championships. Having coached these two boys since they came into our Silktails squad last season, they have worked so hard and made many sacrifices to get to where they are today, and this selection is a reward for that,” Naiqama said.
“Soni has gone on in his time with us to feature with the Rooster’s u/21’s the last 2 seasons, and Sirilo has taken his game to another level with his consistency and some amazing performances.”
“I would like to also acknowledge Bati Coach Wise Kativerata for seeing the potential in the boys and wish him and the Bati the best of luck in the upcoming tournament.”
All three players were also members of the Sydney Roosters Under 21’s Minor Premiership and Grand Final Squad.
Silktails executive director Stephen Driscoll was in attendance at the session conducted by Fiji Bati Assistant and Canterbury Bulldogs Coach Shane ‘Billy’ Millard.
2022 ‘Tabu Soro’ Medallist Meli Nasau is also in the extended squad, joining the boys in training at Belmore Oval this week.
Former Silktails skipper and Bulldogs rep Peni Tagituimua also took part in the session with the Bati players permitted to train that fall outside of the RLPA NRL Top 35 No Train Policy.
The Fiji Bati squad will depart for PNG on 15 October.
Fiji plays the Cook Islands on 22 October and faces Papua New Guinea on 29 October at Port Moresby, PNG.
Fiji Bati: Waqa Blake, Jahream Bula, Kurt Donoghoe, Kitione Kautoga, Tui Kamikamica (C), Sirilo Lovokuro, Taane Milne, Noah Nailagoliva, Caleb Navale, Jason Qareqare, Mikaele Ravalawa, Mesake Ravon, Apisalome Saukuru, Maika Sivo, Peni Tagituimua, Sunia Turuva, King Vuniyayawa, Brandon Wakeham, Watisoni Waqanisaravi, Gordon Whippy.