We’re creating the strongest possible line-ups for every nation ahead of the World Cup, in collaboration with He Can Play For. This week, it’s Fiji!
In these weekly feature pieces, we are selecting the strongest possible side who can represent Fiji. This can include players born in that country, with heritage to the nation or even residency.
The first three were France, Jamaica and the Cook Islands. Now it is time for Fiji…
1. Kevin Naiqama
The 33-year-old has won 19 caps for Fiji since making his international debut in 2009. He will be hoping to play in his third World Cup this autumn.
Naiqama returned to the NRL ahead of this season after winning three consecutive Super League Grand Finals with St Helens.
2. Maika Sivo
The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best wingers in the world, having scored 54 tries in 68 games for Parramatta.
The Nadi-born winger has won two caps for Fiji so far and represented them in the Nines World Cup in 2019.
3. Waqa Blake
Blake is a tremendous centre in the NRL. He has scored 54 tries in 141 NRL appearances so far for Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels.
The Lautoka-born centre made his debut for Fiji in a mid-season test against Tonga in 2017 but unfortunately missed out on the World Cup that year due to injury.
4. Taane Milne
Milne was born in New Zealand before moving to Australia at a young age. He is of Maori and Fijian decent, and has won nine caps for Fiji since 2017.
The 26-year-old has turned into one of South Sydney Rabbitohs’ key players since arriving from the Warriors in 2021.
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
Ravalawa has proven to be a prolific try scorer in the NRL since making his first-grade debut for St George Illawarra Dragons in 2019. He has scored 41 tries in 55 appearances.
The 24-year-old Galoa Island-born winger was part of Fiji’s squad in the 2017 World Cup.
6. Brandon Wakeham
Wakeham was born in Tonga and is of Fijian and Lebanese descent.
The 23-year-old has been with Canterbury Bulldogs since making his NRL debut in 2019. He has played three games for Fiji so far.
7. Joe Lovodua
The Lautoka-born 24-year-old has proven to be an excellent signing for Super League side Hull this season. He is a hooker by trade but has been outstanding when in the halves for Hull.
Lovodua has won eight caps for Fiji since his international debut in 2017. He was part of their squad for the last World Cup.
8. Daniel Saifiti
Saifiti was born in Australia and is of Fijian and Samoan heritage. The 26-year-old has won three caps for Fiji so far.
The Newcastle Knights powerhouse has also played seven games for New South Wales in the Origin arena.
9. Api Koroisau
Koroisau was born in Sydney but is eligible to represent Fiji via family heritage.
The 29-year-old hooker has won 16 caps for Fiji and played in the 2013 and 2017 World Cups. He also played for New South Wales in State of Origin last year.
10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Campbell-Gillard has represented both Fiji and Australia on the international stage. He played two games for tier two Fiji in 2014 before switching allegiance to Australia in 2017, who he represented at the World Cup that year.
The 28-year-old prop could still switch his allegiance back to represent his Fijian heritage. He is the cousin of fellow Fijian internationals Tariq and Korbin Sims.
11. Viliame Kikau
The Nausori-born powerhouse quickly turned into one of the best back-rowers in world rugby league when he burst on the scene in 2017.
Kikau, who has made more 100 appearances for Penrith Panthers, has won 11 caps for his native Fiji. He was named in the 2017 World Cup Team of the Tournament.
12. Tariq Sims
The 32-year-old was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for Fiji through his Fijian-born mother. He has won fives caps for Fiji and played in the 2017 World Cup alongside his brothers Korbin and Ashton.
Sims has made more than 200 NRL appearances for North Queensland Cowboys, Newcastle Knights, St George Illawarra Dragons and Melbourne Storm.
BROTHERS IN ARMS: Ashton Sims on Fiji and playing alongside his brothers
13. Tui Kamikamica
The Taveuni-born forward has made 12 appearances for Fiji since making his international debut in 2016, playing in the Word Cup the following year.
Kamikamica has played more than 55 game for NRL giants Melbourne Storm since 2017.
14 Kane Evans
Hull prop Evans was born in Sydney to a Fijian mother and Australian father.
The 6ft 7in front-rower has won 13 caps for Fiji and played for the Bati in the 2013 and 2017 World Cups.
He made more than 100 appearances in the NRL for Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors.
15. Jacob Saifiti
Jacob, the brother of Daniel, has played seven games for Fiji since making his international debut in 2015. He played at the last World Cup.
The 26-year-old front-rower has made more than 100 appearances for Newcastle Knights in the NRL.
16. Chris Satae
The Hull FC powerhouse was born in Tonga but is also eligible to represent Fiji after spending a large chunk of his childhood in Fiji.
Satae has been a fan’s favourite at Hull since moving to the club in 2019. He also represented his Fijian and Tongan heritage for the Combined Nations All Stars in 2021.
17. Korbin Sims
The Hull KR prop has played in two World Cups for Fiji in 2013 and 2017. He will be hoping to play in his third World Cup this autumn.
Sims, who has been with Hull KR since 2021, made more than 150 appearances in the NRL for Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos and St George Illawarra Dragons.
There are a number of talented players that we’ve not included in this Fiji-eligible line-up such Jason Qareqare, King Vuniyayawa, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Ben Nakubuwai, Semi Valemei, Marcelo Montoya and George Jennings.
The strongest possible Fiji line-up at World Cup
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The article RLWC2021: The strongest possible Fiji line-up at World Cup appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.