Petero to lead Fiji at league World Cup

Petero Civoniceva.
Former Australian rugby league star Petero Civoniceva was named Friday to lead Fiji at the World Cup starting next month in England and Wales.

The 21-man squad contains 15 NRL players - including Melbourne's Sisa Waqa, Wests Tigers winger Marika Koroibete, Cronulla back-rower Jayson Bukuya and the three Sims brothers, Tariq, Ashton and Korbin - as well as two plying their trade in Europe.

Coach Rick Stone said three more players would be added to the squad and confirmed he was in talks with Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne and dual Australian international Lote Tuqiri.

Tuqiri announced two weeks ago he had signed with top Irish rugby union side Leinster while Hayne will only commit to Fiji if he fails to earn a recall to the Australian side.

Fiji finished fourth in the 2008 World Cup, won by New Zealand, and former Newcastle coach Stone is optimistic his new squad can do better.

"The squad has a lot of experience among them as the majority play their rugby overseas and having Petero in the squad is a real boost going into the World Cup," he said.

"Most of the players in the Australian and New Zealand squads, our boys play them week in and week out so they know how to play the big boys."

The Fijian-born Civoniceva, 37, played 45 Tests for Australia, 33 State of Origins for Queensland and 309 NRL games, mainly for Brisbane, before retiring from the top flight late last year but still turning out in the lower-tier Queensland Cup competition.

Fiji squad: Petero Civoniceva, Daryl Millard, Wes Naiqama, Sisa Waqa, Kevin Naiqama, Marika Koroibete, Semi Radradra, Ilisavani Jegesa, Aaron Groom, Apisai Koroisau, James Storer, Alipate Noilea, Kaliova Tani, Tariq Sims, Korbin Sims, Ashton Sims, Kane Evans, Jayson Bukuya, Junior Roqica, Tikiko Noke, Eloni Vunakece


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