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Hull powerhouse Kane Evans says playing in his third World Cup for Fiji is one of his goals – the other being to help Hull win a Super League title.
The 30-year-old prop has made 10 appearances for the Black and Whites since arriving on a two-year deal in the off-season from NRL side New Zealand Warriors.
Evans says he has settled into life in East Yorkshire. He will welcome his international team-mates to Hull this autumn, where Fiji will be based for their World Cup campaign.
“That is a goal,” Evans said when asked about playing for Fiji at the World Cup.
“I want to play for Fiji at the end of the year if I’m blessed enough to make it. It is going to be my third World Cup so it is definitely a goal.
“I have a goal to complete here with FC but I’m just taking it week by week, doing myself good everyday and doing my extras in the gym and on the field to progress into winning a comp this year, that’s my goal with FC.”
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Evans was born to a Fijian mother and an Australian father in Sydney, where he grew up. He has won 13 caps for Fiji since making his international debut in the 2013 World Cup.
The 6ft 7in prop was named in Joe Dakuitoga’s 50-man Fiji squad last month as the Bati ramp up their preparations for the World Cup.
Fiji take on Papua New Guinea in the Pacific test this weekend. Players based in the northern hemisphere, including Evans, were not considered for selection for the mid-season fixture.
“There was a squad of 50 and like 20 of the names are from Fiji who are young lads who are the next big things,” Evans told Love Rugby League.
“I still have to make the squad first but with our best team I reckon we can finally jump to the next level because we’ve come fourth or third for the last three World Cups. We want to go to the next level like Tonga has, so hopefully we can.”
Kane Evans on Fiji’s rich history with Rochdale
Rochdale has a rich history with Fiji, with the Greater Manchester town hosting the second largest Fijian population in the UK outside of London.
Rochdale’s relationship with the Pacific island stretches back more than 50 years after the arrival of four Fijian rugby players in the early 1960s.
The Crown Oil Arena hosted an international rugby league match at the 2013 World Cup. Fiji beat Ireland 32-14 in front of a sell-out crowd in Rochdale, with the match being one of the highlights of Evans’ Fijian journey.
He recalled: “We had a game at Rochdale. I got to put on the jersey and sing the hymn.
“The history that Rochdale has with Fijian players goes back a long time. We had a ceremony in the town hall and the whole experience was awesome. It was a real memorable one for me and one that will stick with me forever.
“I actually played for my country before NRL which was a massive lesson for me. That sort of sparked my career even more and gave me more confidence in myself.”
Evans proud of his Fijian heritage
Evans, who has been back to visit Fiji 13 or 14 times during his lifetime, is immensely proud of his heritage and culture.
“We have to do devotion every night and morning which is like 20 minutes,” he said.
“Somebody will say a prayer for the day, you sing a hymn and someone will share a bible verse. Then we pray for the food and then we eat and that’s our breakfast and dinner.
“Just to get everyone involved is nice. When we had English staff they joined in with us for the hymns so it was an amazing experience. At the end of the experience you see everyone singing together. It is giving me goosebumps now just thinking about it.”
Fiji have been drawn in a group alongside Australia, Italy and Scotland at this year’s World Cup.
The Bati are expected to play England in a warm-up game just before the World Cup at Rochdale.
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The article Kane Evans on Fiji World Cup goal & Rochdale’s proud Fijian connection appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.