August 29, 2021
Fiji Bati Head Coach Josaia Rabele says the postponement of the Rugby League World Cup gives them more time to prepare and groom more players for the big event in England next year.
Rabele said the COVID-19 pandemic crushed their plans last year and this year but he is delighted with the new date announcement.
He said they have got more than enough time to prepare one of the best teams in the world to counter Australia and New Zealand.
He mentioned the new dates have given them an opportunity to assess and monitor the Fijian players overseas playing in the National Rugby League, Ron Massey Cup and European League.
“The pandemic hit us really badly and we didn’t have much local competitions and training. But then the news coming from the international rugby league board gave us hope that we can still form one of the deadliest teams at the World Cup.”
“The announcement has opened us doors to look at different approaches to getting the team together and training them. It was tough during the pandemic period last year and also this year and we did not have many training sessions with the boys.”
“I think it’s also good for us to look at our Fiji Bati reps that are in the international arena playing at the league competitions overseas. It has also given them a chance to prove what they have got to be part of the team.”
“We also have got our plans mapped out and are just waiting for the country to gain some normalcy so we could get in the camp and perform some duties. We understand that due to the pandemic they would not be able to come but we have certain strategies put in place to monitor their performance,” he added.
The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will now take place from 15 October to 19 November next year.
The dates see the tournament move one week earlier than scheduled in 2021 to maximise attendance and viewership.
By Romeka Romena