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Bati aims high

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, January 25, 2014

RUGBY League in Fiji will be exposed to a new height, if Fiji qualifies for the Four Nations Championship in April.

That's the view of Vodafone Fiji Bati rugby league head coach Rick Stone.

The Newcastle Knight assistant coach who guided Fiji to a semi-final finish at the recent Rugby League World Cup last year said players would gain valuable experience playing Tier One nations like Australia, England and New Zealand.

The Fiji Bati side will play Samoa in the qualifying match later this year.

Stone believes its one of the rarest moments for the sport in the country.

"It is massively important, it's a massive exposure for rugby league in Fiji," Stone said.

"You know playing against the top rugby league nations in the world, Australia, New Zealand and England. I don't think we can get it at any other time."

Stone has looked at fielding a strong team for the match.

He is eyeing available players in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition, Super League and other overseas-based players to represent Fiji in the qualifying match against Toa Samoa.

"Before the Four Nations, our first goal is to beat Samoa. We will want to field the best available team.

"I'm looking at recruiting some NRL, Super League and overseas players and also the local players."

Yesterday, Stone conducted clinic with the elite players at Albert Park.

"I'm happy with the attendance of the players.

"We worked on the basics and we'll continue to work on the basics in the future."

Today, Stone will be holding coaching clinics for local coaches before returning to Australia tomorrow.

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