NRL big guns for Samoa, Fiji teams
Toa Samoa and Fiji Bati have named their teams to play the Pacific Test on Saturday night at Sportingbet Stadium.
1. Peter Mata'utia (St George Illawarra Dragons)
2. Daniel Vidot (Brisbane Broncos)
3. Ricky Leutele (Cronulla Sharks)
4. Krisnan Inu (Canterbury Bulldogs)
5. Young Tonumaipea (Melbourne Storm)
6. Reni Maitua (Canterbury Bulldogs)
7. Penani Manumaleali'i (Cronulla Sharks)
8. Sam Tagataese (Cronulla Sharks)
9. Michael Sio (New Zealand Warriors)
10. David Fa'alogo (Newcastle Knights)
11. Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons)
12. Dominique Peyroux (New Zealand Warriors)
13. Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters)
14. Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)
15. Dunamis Lui (Manly Sea Eagles)
16. Jesse Sene-Lefao (Manly Sea Eagles)
17. Suaia Matagi (New Zealand Warriors)
18. Carlos Tuimavave (New Zealand Warriors)
1 Kevin Naiqama (Penrith Panthers)
2 Marika Koroibete (Wests Tigers)
3 Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels)
4 Lote Tuqiri (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
5 Eto Nabuli (Penrith Panthers)
6 Alipate Tani (Cutters)
7 Aaron Groom (Asquith)
8 Ashton Sims (c) (North Queensland Cowboys)
9 James Storer (Illawarra)
10 Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters)
11 Vitale Jr Roqica (Cronulla Sharks)
12 Peni Botiki (Cutters)
13 Korbin Sims (Newcastle Knights)
14 Waqa Blake (Penrith Panthers)
15 Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers)
16 Osea Sadrau (Fiji)
17 Atunaisa Turagaiviu (Fiji)
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Former dual international Lote Tuqiri will represent Fiji for the first time since 2000 in the match.
The 35-year-old South Sydney winger was born in Fiji but played for Australia in both rugby union and league.Fiji coach Rick Stone, who has a few positional decisions to make before Saturday’s game after naming a 19-man squad, was pleased to retain the majority of his 2013 World Cup squad for the Four Nations qualifier.
“Out of the 19 we have named, 13 played in the World Cup where we made it to the semi-final,” Stone said.
“We had a few unavailable, including Akuila Uate, Sisa Waqa, Apisai Koroisau and Wes Naiqama, however we have a good mix of youth and experience and I have no doubt they will do Fiji proud on Saturday night.”
North Queensland Cowboys’ forward Ashton Sims has been named captain.
“Ashton has played for Fiji in the last two World Cups, he is really passionate about representing Fiji and I know he will do a great job leading the boys out on Saturday night,” Stone added.
Stone believes the Pacific Test will be another great chance to showcase the game, particularly in Fiji.
“We continue to work hard to raise the profile of rugby league in Fiji and this game provides us with another chance to do that off the back of the World Cup,” Stone said.
“The NRL Clubs have been great in allowing their players to take part in the Pacific Test, which plays a significant role in growing the game.
“Last year’s Pacific Test between Samoa and Tonga was a wonderful spectacle and I expect it to be no different when Fiji meet Samoa this Saturday night.”
The 19-man squad go into camp on Monday and will be based in Penrith for the week.
The Pacific Test kicks of at 7.30pm on Saturday May 3, with the winner qualifying for the Four Nations tournament also involving Australia, New Zealand and England in October.
After naming their squad, Rugby League Samoa said in a statement: "Rugby League Samoa is extremely proud to provide the opportunity for these players to represent their Samoan heritage and to be able to continue our mission to grow the international game throughout the Pacific."