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Fiji Time: 10:25 AM on Thursday 21 August

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Sims ready

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, May 02, 2014

INSPIRED skipper Ashton Sims is ready to lead the Vodafone Fiji Bati team for the first time against the Toa Samoa in the Four Nations qualifier match tomorrow night.

The Bati will take on Samoa at 9.30pm at the Sportingbet Stadium in Penrith, Australia.

Sims, who played a pivotal role in the national team's campaign in the past two Rugby League World Cups, is excited with the challenge.

"It means the world. It's the highest individual honour I've ever had," Sims, who plays for North Queensland Cowboys, told NRL.com.

"I really take this as one of the highlights of my career, along with my debut. So I'm just grateful for this opportunity and I'm really looking forward to leading by example on Saturday night."

Former Australian dual international Lote Tuqiri, who will play his first Test for Fiji in 14 years, is impressed with Sims leadership.

Tuqiri said the players were responding well to his orders.

"I didn't have too much to do with him before I came into camp. He was always a tough competitor on the field and he's certainly leading with his voice here now," he said.

"He's a good leader; he's a great leader so far from what I've seen and the boys really respect him.

"I just told him this (yesterday) morning that I'm backing him 100 per cent and the boys are too, so I think he'll lead from the front and lead by example."

Meanwhile the Bati will miss the services of Akuila Uate, Apisai Koroisau, Sisa Waqa and NSW Country representative Tariq Sims who featured for the side in the 22-4 quarter-final win over Samoa in last year's world cup.

Sims said the team would be relying heavily on the likes of Parramatta Eels winger Semi Radradra who had an impressive NRL season so far.

Radradra will partner Tuqiri in the centres with Marika Koroibete and Penrith's Eto Nabuli on the wings while Kevin Naiqama will start at fullback.

The winner of the match will join Australia, New Zealand and England in the Four Nations competition to be played in October.


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