FIJI National Rugby League (FNRL) is keeping its fingers crossed on securing the services of Australian rugby league superstar Petero Civoniceva for next year's Rugby League World Cup.
Civoniceva, who is dubbed as 'Bulla' by his Brisbane Broncos club, has played about 300 NRL games for Broncos and Penrith Panthers and represented Queensland and Australia during an illustrious 15-year NRL career.
He hung his boots in September. The towering former Penrith Panthers skipper is yet to confirm his availability for Fiji.
Already, he has shown interest to be part of the Fiji Bati brigade next year and is currently taking one step at a time before making the huge decision.
FNRL development officer Sale Tubuna said they were optimistic the former Kangaroos forward, who boasts an amazing 45 Tests, would be linked with the Fiji Bati at the 2013 international event.
"Yes, Petero is interested to play for Fiji but we are still waiting for him to make the official announcement. He earlier stated that he wanted to take things one at a time. He has taken the first step and has retired from international games, now, his focus is his family before he decides on his next move," he said.
"He is in talks with Rick Stone (Fiji Bati head coach) in Australia and soon we will hear his final decision."
Meanwhile, Jarryd Hayne and Lote Tuqiri are the other two superstars that have shown interest to play for Fiji.
Hayne was a star at the 2008 RLWC, while Tuqiri starred at the 2000 event. Tubuna said they received a lot of interest from National Rugby League (NRL) players.
"I think next year we will have more NRL players compared to 2008. We had only eight in 2008 but now we are hoping to have more but that will be finalised later on," Tubuna said.
The Fiji Bati side is drawn in Pool A with England, Ireland and the Kangaroos.
Fiji plays its opening RLWC game against Ireland at Spotland Stadium in Rochdale on October 28.