1 May 2014

Sport: Fiji Bati coach wants to build on World Cup success

10:56 am on 1 May 2014

Fiji rugby league coach Rick Stone says it's pleasing to have so many players putting their hands up to be a part of this weekend's Pacific Test against Samoa in Sydney.

13 of the 19 strong Bati squad were involved in last year's World Cup campaign, where Fiji made it to the semi finals for the second straight tournament.

Akuila Uate, Wes Naiqama and Sisa Waqa were ruled out through injury while North Queensland Cowboys forward Tariq Sims was the only front-line player to opt out, choosing to chase his State of Origin dream with New South Wales.

Rick Stone says it's great to have so much continuity in selection and such a wide pool of players to choose from.

"I think what we did in the World Cup excited the boys about coming back and playing for Fiji again. Obviously we've got a few injuries and a few boys unavailable, and it's stretched our depth a bit but [I'm] really excited to have the bulk of those players back together and excited for the other boys, who didn't go to the World Cup, coming in and obviously feeling a bit of the Fiji love."

The winning team in the Pacific Test will qualify for the Four Nations tournament at the end of year, alongside Australia, New Zealand and England.