HOPE was all that Peni Botiki hung on to after being initially dropped from the Vodafone Fiji Bati team to the Rugby League World Cup.
However, the dreadlocked second rower was roped in as a shadow player should Jarryd Hayne, Akuila Uate and South Sydney Rabbitohs skipper John Sutton be selected for the Kangaroos.
And he was over the moon on Sunday night when Fiji Bati manager Mesake Navugona informed him he had made the cut to replace Hayne who is likely to be named in the Kangaroos side.
Botiki said he had expected his name to be announced after the Battle of the Bati clash between the Fiji Residents and Overseas Fijians last month but he was disappointed.
"Hope is what I was hanging on to when they called me to be a shadow player," Botiki said.
"This is after I was dropped from the list that was named after the Battle of the Bati.
"I thought I'd make it but I never lost hope and now I'm thankful to the Almighty that I have a spot in the Bati team."
He said he could not hide his excitements while relaying the news to his dad and family.
"It was on Sunday night that the manager called me to say that I'm in the team. I'm so, so, so happy to be called again into the team especially to the world cup. I'm ready to represent Fiji and I'll never let my country down, I'm looking forward to it."
The 24-year-old from Viseisei, Vuda said he could not wait to train along-side stars such as Sutton, Akuila Uate, Petero Civoniceva and his teammates. He acknowledged his family and everyone who supported him throughout his career.
Meanwhile yesterday, major sponsor, Vodafone, gave two vehicles to boost the Fiji National Rugby League with its RLWC preparation.
"In our quest to assist FNRL prepare for the upcoming rugby league world cup we donated these two vehicles for their office and logistical usage and we are adamant our assistance will help provide the best backup support for the Vodafone Bati as they arrive next week for their world cup camp," Vodafone's managing director Aslam Khan said.
He added the Vodafone text promotion continues.
"Simply text 'BATI' to 818 and win "Cool Hard Cash". The October winners will win $10,000 each week."