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Sutton-ly a Bati

Emoni Narawa
Tuesday, October 01, 2013

JOHN Sutton has pledged his allegiance to the Vodafone Fiji Bati.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs captain, Newcastle Knights winger Akuila Uate and Peni Botiki have been named in the 24-member squad for the Rugby League World Cup later this month while Jarryd Hayne misses out and is likely to be named in the Australian Kangaroos team.

Sutton, whose mother is from Rotuma, earlier showed interest in playing for Fiji, however, he was also being eyed by the Kangaroos.

He has played more than 200 National Rugby League (NRL) games for the Rabbitohs.

Yesterday, the Fiji National Rugby League confirmed it had submitted the final Bati squad list to the RLWC organisers.

FNRL general manager Tomi Finau said they welcomed the new three players into the squad.

"This is good news, John Sutton, Akuila Uate and Peni Botiki make up the final Fiji Bati team," he said.

"Sutton and Uate are confirmed for Fiji while Botiki replaces Hayne.

"On the same note we congratulate Hayne and wish him all the best."

Finau said Fiji Bati head coach Rick Stone had been in contact with the Kangaroos management on a constant basis.

"Today (yesterday) is the final day for us to submit our final team. Our head coach Rick Stone is in close contact with the Kangaoos coach, and they have told us that Sutton is available for Fiji."

Finau added the Rabbitohs first-five-eighth and Uate's experience will add depth to the squad which had the likes of Wes Naiqama, Sisa Waqa, Marika Koroibete, Aaron Groom, the Sims brothers Ashton, Korbin and Tariq and skipper Petero Civoniceva.

The team marches into camp on October 7 at the Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour. France-based Eloni Vunakece is expected to join the team in England.

Fiji Bati squad: Sisa Waqa, Wes Naiqama (vc), Kevin Naiqama, Darryl Millard, Marika Koroibete, Semi Radradra, Ilisavani Jegesa, Aaron Groom, Apisai Koroisau, James Storer, Alipate Noilea, Kaliova Tani, Tariq Sims, Korbin Sims, Ashton Sims, Petero Civoniceva (c), Kaine Evans, Jason Bukuya, Vitale Jr Roqica, Tikiko Noke, Eloni Vunakece, John Sutton, Akuila Uate, Peni Botiki.





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