17 Jun 2011

Fiji Bati have faith in local development

10:44 am on 17 June 2011

The Fiji Rugby League coach says the ongoing development of local player is starting to bear results ahead of Friday's residents clash with Samoa.

The two teams will face off in Suva with teams selected entirely from local competitions.

The Fiji coach Joe Rabele says they now have about 200 elite local players they're working with regularly which has added depth to their talent pool.

"Especially in weights program and all of the programs that we are doing in development of rugby league in Fiji and the best players from this 200 - the best 24 that went to this series - we'll pick from this 200 squad. That's why we had these 200 players together so when someone left the country we've got another player that's there ready to take up their position. At the moment Fiji is very big, especially secondary schools and in our elite squad."

Joe Rabele says Friday's match against Toa Samoa is a good opportunity for players to stake a claim for a place in the Battle of the Bati which will take place later this year.