THE Vodafone Fiji Bati will be taking a powerful forward pack to the Rugby League World Cup next month.
Fiji National Rugby League yesterday confirmed 18 players in the National Rugby League and Super League have declared their interest in playing for the national side at the world cup from October 26 to November 30.
Veteran Petero Civoniceva, former Bati skipper Wes Naiqama, Jason Bukuya, Daryl Millard, Sims brothers Ashton, Korbin and Tariq, Sisa Waqa and Akuila Uate are some players who are cleared to play for Fiji.
Star player Jarryd Hayne remains in the frame despite not being in the list.
Parramatta Eels player Hayne and South Sydney Roosters five-eighth John Sutton are being eyed by the Kangaroos.
FNRL general manager Tomi Finau said if the two failed to make the Australia team, they would be roped to play for the national side.
However, he said the selection was still wide open for local and overseas-based players.
FNRL will name the final 24-member team on September 19 following the Battle of the Bati match between the Fiji Residents and Australia Residents at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
"Our work continues to try and secure their (Hayne and Sutton) services and we want to secure the best team this year," Finau said.
"The objective and resolution of the board is to field the best to represent Fiji. We will not announce the positions until we are clear that these two players are not coming.
"But otherwise, whatever the players' decision will be, we will respect that and will work with whatever players we have."
Fiji Bati assistant coach Jo Rabele said there were some promising players in the Fiji Residents squad that could make the final team.
NRL & Super League players: Jason Bukuya (2nd row, Cronulla Sharks), Kane Evans (front row, Sydney Roosters), Marika Koroibete (wing, West Tigers), Jacob Loko (centre/2nd row, Parramatta Eels), Kevin Naiqama (wing/fullback, Newcastle Knights), Wes Naiqama (centre, Penrith Panthers), Taqele Naiyaravoro (centre/2nd row, West Tigers), Daryl Millard (Centre, Catalan Dragons), Ashton Sims (front row, North Queensland Cowboys), Korbin Sims (front row, Newcastle Knights), Tariq Sims (2nd row, North Queensland Cowboys), John Sutton (five-eighth, South Sydney Roosters), Lote Tuqiri (wing/centre/fullback, West Tigers), Sisa Waqa (wing/centre, Melbourne Storm), Brayden Joji Wiliame (wing/centre, Parramatta Eels), Semi Radradra (wing, Parramatta Eels), Akuila Uate (wing, Newcastle Knights), Petero Civoniceva (front row, Redcliffe Dolphins).
National team officials: Mesake Navugona (team manager), Rick Stone head coach), Josaia Dakuitoga (assistant head coach), Wise Kativerata (assistant head coach), Rev Ilaitia Tagituimua (team pastor), Mick Reid (high performance manager), Simon Wray (physio), Peter N McGeoch (doctor), Graham Perkins (head trainer), Josefa Ravatudei (tour manager), Tomi Finau (media liaison)