Feki pushing Kiwi claims
Fresh off enjoying another happy return to Auckland last Friday night, Cronulla Sharks winger Sosaia Feki is building towards a maiden call up for New Zealand at the end of the year.
The former Junior Warrior was in fine touch as the Sharks downed his former club 26-12 at Mount Smart Stadium, scoring a try and carrying the ball 11 times for 98 metres.
Cronulla teammate Gerard Beale, himself a 10-Test New Zealand international, told NRL.com Feki wouldn't look out of place in a black jersey at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
"I think he is in that kind of form. I know there is a lot of depth in the backs, but he is putting his hand up for sure," Beale said.
"I am sure his opportunity is getting closer with the Kiwis… you can just see what he does out there on the field.
"He's a great player 'Feks', he has been doing a great job for us at the Sharks all year."
So far this season Feki has appeared in 18 of Cronulla's 19 matches, topping their try-scoring chart with 12 and averaging 109 metres per game.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said the 26-year-old, who represented Tonga at the World Cup four years ago in the UK, had been among his team's most consistent performers in recent years.
"We love him," Flanagan said.
"He has gone well last year, I thought he was outstanding for the last couple of years.
"The last couple of years have been his best footy and he is a grand-final winning winger.
"Sosaia has been a quality player for us… he just takes his opportunities, big, strong and powerful."
With Canberra Raider Jordan Rapana presumably a lock for one of the New Zealand wing positions, it likely leaves Jason Nightingale, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, David Fusitu'a and Feki as the leading candidates for the other staring spot on the flank.