Kangaroos target Fiji's 'Bill'
The Kangaroos are set to launch “Operation Kill Bill” as they move to shut down Fiji’s giant second-rower Viliame Kikau in Friday night’s World Cup semi-final.
The 22-year-old Penrith powerhouse goes by the nickname “Bill” and Kangaroos forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard knows only too well the devastation he can cause after watching him “terrorising people” in the Intrust Super Premiership this year.
Kikau stands at 195cm and weighs in at 119kg.
He will be one of the biggest units on either side in the semi-final, and a mobile one as well. The Fijian forward has not lost any of his six Tests and has been one of the stars of the World Cup for the Bati. He has scored three tries, made five line breaks and run for 670m in four games.
Campbell-Gillard said his Penrith teammate would be a handful at Suncorp Stadium and must be contained.
“He goes by ‘Bill’, and ‘Kicks’ is another one of his nicknames,” Campbell Gillard said of a man who has been kicking butt this tournament.
“He is a massive giant and he will be a massive task for us.
“We are going to have to shut him down because he has been outstanding for them this whole tournament.”
Campbell-Gillard said Kikau, who played nine NRL games in 2017 and has signed at Penrith until the end of 2019, had a big future after finding his niche in the back row for Fiji.
“He probably hasn’t done much in the NRL because front row isn’t his position,” Campbell-Gillard said.
“When he has gone back to [NSW] Cup he was playing on the edge and running rabid and terrorising a lot of people.
“We have already got back-rowers at Penrith so it is kind of hard for him to fight for a position and get one. He is one of those ones that will just bide his time and develop really well.”
Campbell-Gillard played his first rugby league international for Fiji in 2014 - qualifying due to his mother Georgina’s heritage - alongside a league legend who is now plotting Australia’s downfall.
“That was special for me because I got to play alongside Petero [Civoniceva] who was one of my idols, and I never thought that would happen,” he said.
“Fast-track to now and I am getting to play for Australia … against Fiji, so it should be exciting.
“I get along with Petero really well and now he is on the coaching staff for them.
“It is a semi-final and it is going to be do or die.”
The 24-year-old has modelled his game on Civoniceva and Broncos great Shane Webcke.
“They were brutal, dominant front-rowers in their prime and that is something I have really wanted to replicate,” he said.
Campbell-Gillard is determined to make the most of an unexpected opportunity which opened up for him when Andrew Fifita elected to play for Tonga.
He was called into the Kangaroos squad and he hasn’t looked back since making his Australian debut against France.
“Times like this I will never get back and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said.
“There are not many people who put on the jersey and can say they played for the Kangaroos.
“I don’t want to lose that jersey so I want to keep working hard and leave everything I have out on the field.
“It has been an absolute massive wave, and I am still on that wave and riding it.”