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Koroisau, Campbell-Gillard named in star-studded Fiji World Cup squad

Panthers hooker Api Koroisau will be asked to decide his World Cup allegiances after being named in an extended Fiji squad as the Bati step up preparations for their opening game against Australia.

Koroisau has played 16 Tests for Fiji but after earning the NSW No.9 jersey for this season’s State of Origin series he is also under consideration for a place in Mal Meninga’s 24-man Kangaroos squad.

Fiji coach Joe Rabele hopes Koroisau will play five-eighth or hooker at the World Cup but with the Bati squad to be announced on October 19 before assembling in Sydney on September 23 he wants an answer soon.

Koroisau has played 16 Tests for Fiji, including the 2017 World Cup semi-final
Koroisau has played 16 Tests for Fiji, including the 2017 World Cup semi-final ©NRL Photos

"I know that he has some interest to play for the Kangaroos, but the door is still open for Api Koroisau," Rabele told a press conference in Fiji.

“Hopefully he will get back to me because we will send invitation letters to all the clubs for all the players that we select [to confirm] if they want to be part of this program, so we are waiting for them to respond.

“We are departing for England on September 25 so before we depart we need to select our best team that we can for the World Cup.

“At the moment we have to submit this squad to the World Cup so when we submit the names we have to work with this squad.”

Koroisau was one of four players involved in NSW's Origin campaign this season named in the 33-man Bati squad, along with Eels prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Knights frontrower Jacob Saifiti and Dragons forward Tariq Sims.

Roosters winger Kevin Naiqama and Panthers second-rower Viliame Kikau will lead the Fiji team at the World Cup, with Eels winger Maika Sivo, Storm second-rower Tui Kamikamica and Knights prop Daniel Saifiti among the other big names.

Match Highlights: Papua New Guinea v Fiji

Fiji play England in a World Cup warm-up match at Salford on October 7 ahead of their opening match against Australia in Leeds on October 15.

The other nations in Pool B are Scotland and Italy.

“Those players in the grand final will come after the grand final," Rabele said. "Our warm-up match is against England so that is where we want to set up our structures for the game against Australia.

"Hopefully all the best players will be available for this World Cup campaign."

The Bati have made the semi-finals of the last three World Cups and are looking to go one step further and qualify for the final at Old Trafford on November 19.

Fiji Bati 33-man squad

  • Waqa Blake (Parramatta Eels)
  • Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
  • Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm)
  • Vuate Karawalevu (Sydney Roosters)
  • Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers)
  • Apisai Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)
  • Lamar Manuel Liolevave (Tweed Seagulls)
  • Joe Lovodua (Hull FC)
  • Isaac Lumelume (Canterbury Bulldogs)
  • Netane Masima (Wests Magpies)
  • Laitia Moceidreke (NQ Cowboys)
  • Sitiveni Moceidreke (London Broncos)  
  • Taane Milne (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • Marcelo Montoya (NZ Warriors)
  • Kevin Naiqama (Sydney Roosters)
  • Ben Nakubuwai (Leigh Centurions)
  • Jason Qareqare (Castleford Tigers)
  • Mikaele Ravalawa (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  • Taniela Sadrugu (NQ Cowboys)
  • Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
  • Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
  • Pio Seci (Manly Sea Eagles)
  • Korbin Sims (Hull KR)
  • Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  • Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels)
  • Penioni Tagituimua (Canterbury Bulldogs)
  • Sunia Turuva (Penrith Panthers)
  • Joseph Vakacereivalu (Redcliffe Dolphins)
  • Semi Valemei (Canberra Raiders)
  • King Vuniyayawa (Salford Reds)
  • Ratu Inoke Vasuturaga (Kinoya Eagles)
  • Brandon Wakeham (Canterbury Bulldogs)
  • Siua Wong (Sydney Roosters)


Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.