The Fiji national rugby league team
, nicknamed the Bati
(pronounced ), represents Fiji
in the sport of rugby league football
and has been participating in international competition since 1992. Members of the team are selected from the domestic Fijian competition, as well as from competitions in New Zealand and Australia. For the 2000
and 2008 World Cups
the Bati were captained by Lote Tuqiri
and Wes Naiqama
respectively. They have produced players like Petero Civoniceva, Akuila Uate, Lote Tuqiri, Jarryd Hayne, Wes and Kevin Naiqama, Peni Tagive and Sisa Waqa.
The game was introduced to Fiji only in 1992 but despite this there has been a long history of Fijian players making their mark in rugby league, most notably back in the 1960s when great players such as Joe Levula
and Laitia Ravouvou
joined Rochdale Hornets
and became household names in the English competition.
Interest and participation in rugby league snowballed throughout Fiji, and as well as continued success in the World Sevens, the Batis began playing full 13-aside games against international teams. By 1994, Fiji had hammered the Great Britain Amateur tourists (40-8) and, captained by mighty front-rower James Pickering, beat France (20-12).
They had also produced their first rugby league superstar after winger Noa Nadruku
joined Canberra Raiders
and in 1993 became the top try-scorer in the Australian competition.
Fiji took part in their first World Cup in 1995
where, just as the 2000 World Cup
, they had the... Read More