VODAFONE FIJI Bati forward Tikiko Noke has turned down a rugby league offer from England's Rochdale Hornets, says Fiji Bati manager and Islands Electric Lautoka Crushers mentor Mesake Navugona.
He said the 19-year-old forward wants to develop his talent and is being lined up for a stint with the Newcastle Knights under-20 training squad in Australia.
Navugona said discussions have been made with the Fiji Bati coach and Newcastle assistant coach Rick Stone on Noke's stint with the Knights.
"Tikiko is only 19 years old and he needs more professional training to become a better player," he said.
"One of the reasons he turned down the Rochdale offer is because he wants to develop his talent with the Knights.
"Noke has a bright future in the sport and I think it will take him less than one year to adapt to the professional environment.
"He will be a hit in the NRL competition once he completes his stint with the Knights under-20."
Navugona said talks had also been made with Fiji Bati skipper Petero Civoniceva and Knights flyer Akuila Uate to assist Noke in Australia.
"We have some great Fijian rugby league players in Australia such as Civoniceva and Uate who have agreed to assist Tikiko during his stint there," he said.
He added Noke is expected to join the Knights at the end of next month.