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Injury cloud

Maikeli Seru
Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE Vodafone Fiji Bati could suffer a Rugby League World Cup injury blow after one of the National Rugby League (NRL) Fijian players has been ruled out of the season because of injury.

Penrith centre Waqa Blake is suffering from a shoulder injury.

The Fiji National Rugby League is monitoring his condition before announcing the final squad to play in Australia in the RLWC which will start on October 27.

"We are aware, but we are monitoring his recovery," FNRL chief executive officer, Timoci Naleba said yesterday.

Blake, 22, who is Lautoka born is one of the top contenders for the centre and wing positions for the Fiji Bati.

In other injury scares, last month powerful prop and Newcastle Knights forward Daniel Saifiti was ruled out of the NRL season because of a shoulder injury.

He has been undergoing therapy and is expected to start light pre-season training in November — during the RLWC.

Saifiti had played in every NRL match this season, and played for the Fiji Bati alongside twin brother Jacob in the Pacific Test in May.

Another top player, Broncos front rower Korbin Sims, also suffered an arm injury last month.

Naleba said top backline players who had declared their availability include Jarryd Hayne, Suliasi Vunivalu, Akuila Uate and Kevin Naiqama.

The forwards include Jacob and Roosters duo Kane Evans and Eloni Vunakece among other Fiji Bati regulars.

Meanwhile, good news for Fiji, as RLWC Fiji Bati contender and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles' stand-off and halfback, Apisai Koroisau has emerged as the next most likely candidate to wear the No.9 jersey for the Prime Minister's XIII.

The team is coached by legendary Mal Meninga who will lead the world champions Australia to Fiji in the Rugby League Tri-Nations at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on October 14. However, Koroisau will still be able to play for the Fiji Bati in the RLWC because the PM's XIII is an invitational team.

Koroisau is likely to play against the Kumuls and Kangaroos in the tri-nations.

"He is still in the squad and playing for the PM's XIIII will not stop him from playing for Fiji," Naleba said.

The Vodafone Battle of the Bati will be on October 4 and the tri-nations on Oct 14.

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