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Whippy set for debut with childhood heroes

Ipswich Jets prop Gordon Whippy is set to make an incredible Vodafone Fiji Bati debut playing alongside his childhood heroes Maika Sivo and Tui Kamikamica in their Pacific Championship match against Cook Islands Aitu tomorrow.

The former Raiders Jersey Flegg Thor Hammer Barbell challenger has spent time in the Rabbitohs development system since 2020 and most recently featured in the Hostplus Cup.

Having previously represented Fiji in both swimming and athletics, Whippy said he would be filled with emotion when he dons the blue jersey.

“I’m really excited, it’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid, like every Fiji kid growing up so I’m really excited to learn off the big boys and play on Sunday,” Whippy told NRL.com.

“I grew up in Fiji and attended Mount Saint Mary’s Primary all the way up until I was 18.”

“But I attended another college when I was 18 where I got given the opportunity to come and play for Australia.”

While Whippy has already been training with the Fiji Bati players, he is well aware of the performance Fiji Bati puts in a championship which will push their ranking and also prepare for the next rugby league world cup.

“I’ve always wanted to go down the path of footy so watching them as a kid back in Fiji, it was always a dream of mine [to play for Fiji] and I’ve worked really hard to get here,” he said.

“It puts me in awe, every time I think of it, that I’ll actually be running out with these boys. I know for sure I’ll get really nervous standing next to them in the tunnel but I’m just really excited as this is a great opportunity for me.”

Having scored five tries, with 35 tackle breaks and averaging 89 run metres in 15 games for Ipswich this year, Whippy hopes to bring his own game to the Bati.

“I think for me it’s just about putting my best qualities forward and it’s just about running hard and tackling hard going into this game for me.”

“He’s [Bula] is always pushing up in support through the middle and he’s really quick so I’ll just look to use him out on the back and wherever he is and try and run off him.”

Fiji Bati will take on the Cook Islands Aitu at 5pm at Santos National Football Stadium in PNG tomorrow.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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