23 Jun 2014

Sport: Rika now free to focus on playing

12:01 pm on 23 June 2014

Former Fiji captain Joe Rika says he will have more time to focus on playing after announcing his return to competitive cricket.

The 26 year old announced his international retirement on last April, after Fiji failed to earn promotion from World Cricket League 7.

Since then he's been coaching a range of national age group teams alongside his work as Cricket Fiji's High Performance Manager.

Rika says the appointment of Shane Jurgensen as Fiji coach and other changes to the organisation now mean he is free to dedicate more time to playing.

"We've got a lot of good people involved. Obviously Shane coming on board makes things a lot more easier for me, takes a lot off my shoulders. We've now got a good pool of coaches that are now going to be involved with the junior under-age sides - which is what I was involved in in terms of coaching - so that's taken a lot off me. Shane has now taken all responsibility for the preparations of the national side and it leaves me just generally focusing on playing now and I haven't had this pressure off me for the last three years so it's good to just focus on training and focus on playing better cricket for Fiji".

Rika plans to resume full-time training at the end of this week ahead of national team trials in July.