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Bati future

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

RETIRING Vodafone Fiji skipper Petero Civoniceva may have decided to call time off the field but not before leaving an impression on his deputy Wes Naiqama.

Naiqama, 31, hopes to emulate the rugby league legend's feat as he sets his sight on the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The 37-year-old former Kangaroo Civoniceva retired after the Fiji versus Australia world cup semi-final in England last month.

"Petero has obviously shown that age is not a factor if the desire is there to keep playing as long as you want," Naiqama told Times Sport.

"I got one more year with Penrith (Panthers) so I will see where it takes me from there.

"But I guess the main focus is the Four Nations next year, so I will make sure I have a good pre-season and be fit so I can put my hands up for that Four Nations."

Naiqama who skippered the team to fourth place finish in the 2008 RLWC said he was grateful for the chance to play for Fiji Bati in the world cup this year.

"I was very honoured. You never take it for granted. I'm sort of on the back end of my career so it was grateful to get that chance.

"I got a chance to play under Petero … he is the legend of the game.

"That's probably one of the highlights for me and also the opportunity to play with my brother Kevin."

Naiqama also said he would take the opportunity, if given, to lead the team in the upcoming Four Nations.

Fiji will play Samoa in next year's Pacific Test in April in Australia to decide the fourth team for the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.

"I will be honoured to captain the team but the main priority is to play good and consistent football for my club and put my hand up for selection."

Kangaroos which had the services of former Bati Jarryd Hayne won the 2013 RLWC beating New Zealand 34-2 in the final on Sunday.