THERE was no love lost as players put their bodies on the line to stay in contention for a place in the Vodafone Fiji Bati team for the Rugby League World Cup which starts in October.
The Vodafone Fiji Residents trials at the Suva Grammar School grounds yesterday brought the best out of the local players vying for a place in the national team.
With 10 places left to be filled to complete the Fiji Bati team, the national selectors are anticipating a nightmare choosing the best from the upcoming Battle of the Bati clash on September 19 at the ANZ Stadium.
Fiji Bati assistant coach Jo Rabele said it was tough to select the final Fiji Residents team to play the Overseas Fijians in the final trials for the world cup.
He said the fight for the final spot in the Battle of the Bati challenge would be more intense.
"We have 18 NRL players available and out of that, three are injured so that leaves us with 15," Rabele said.
"Basically we will have only nine places available which will be filled following the Battle of the Bati match.
"It will be a headache for us to select those nine players for the world cup."
2008 RLWC members Osea Sadrau, Jone Wesele, Sevanaia Koroi and Semisi Tora were some experienced players named in the Fiji Residents team.
Rabele who leaves the country for Australia today to select the Overseas Fijians said the local players would give their overseas counterparts a good run for their money on September 19.
"The overseas-based players may have better facilities but the local boys have the heart to play for the country.
"It will be a really tough match and we are looking forward to that."
Rabele said the Fiji Residents team selection was based on the work rate of individual players especially in the forwards.
Fiji Residents: Prop: Osea Sadrau, Osea Uluinaceva, Josateki Sovau; Second Row: Tikiko Noke, Jone Wesele, Peni Botiki; Lock: Sevanaia Koroi, Semisi Tora; Hooker: Asaeli Saravaki, Apenisa Cokanasiga; Five Eight: Josava Vetaukula, Ilikena Niumataiwalu; Centres: Viliame Rakuli, Ilisavani Jegesa; Wingers: Navitalai Ratulevu, Eroni Lima; Full back: Kitione Rasotale; Utility: Aborosio Delaimoala, Iliesa Cakau