JAMES Storer represented the country at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) but the 31-year-old revealed he was unsure of whether he would return for Fiji for this year's world cup.
Storer, who had successful stints with the St George Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Paramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks in the National Rugby League (NRL), said pride and passion for Fiji surpassed all and sparked his desire to don the national jumper once again.
"After the last world cup, I wasn't too sure about representing the country again and I quit rugby league after that," he said.
Following the 2008 RLWC, Storer was involved with community-based activities and was heavily involved helping out Aborigine children.
When asked what made him change his mind about playing for Fiji again, Storer replied it was the Fijian atmosphere that had changed his life and he wanted to give something back to the people.
"When I came back to Fiji, I got in touch with my spiritual side once more.
"Here, people are so passionate and as soon as I came back, I started going to church and learning about God and these are things people lose in Australia.
"So once I discovered I really wanted to represent Fiji again, I started training again and worked really hard for a spot in the team.
"I am very grateful to have been given this chance again."
Storer was one of the standout players in the Vodafone Fiji Bati clash against the Fiji Presidents XIII last week and said the training and being back in Fiji was a great feeling.
"I think the best part about this whole experience was coming back to the beautiful Fijian smiles and enjoying the local cuisine as well.
"It was especially good for the players to have a chance to jell together as a team during our warm-up game.
"There are a few basic details that we still need to work on but other than that, we are ready to go.
"Another thing I noticed when I came back to Fiji was the amount of talent that young boys in rugby league have.
"In our team too, there are so many talented players and we are now so much closer and starting to become one again."
Storer and his teammates departed the country for England yesterday.
The Vodafone Fiji Bati plays their first match of the RLWC against Ireland on October 28.