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First time

Elenoa Baselala
Friday, October 13, 2017

TOMORROW'S Pacific Tri-Nations Test offers the first opportunity for Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith and fellow star club player and Fiji Bati winger Suliasi Vunivalu to play against each other.

"I have played against a few of those players (Fiji Bati), Suliasi Vunivalu being the main man. I have never played against him, to tackle him," Smith said last night.

"I think it will be a great game."

Smith, on his third visit to Fiji and first to play rugby league, arrived with the Australian Kangaroos side to play the Pacific Tri-Nations Test against the Vodafone Fiji Bati and the PNG Kumuls at the ANZ Stadium tomorrow.

Smith said they had a few new players and they were excited to see them perform in the Tri-Nations.

"It is a good start to our Rugby League World Cup. All players are really excited about the game and it is great to have our families over to experience a bit of fun in Fiji. We expect to put on a good show and hopefully we will score some good tries."

Australian coach Mal Meninga is using this Tri-Nations as a camp for his players who are the defending champions of the Rugby League World Cup.

"We want to make an impression in Fiji that rugby league is a great game," Meninga said.

The coach also will use the Tri-Nations to give some of his players who have not played for a while some match fitness and practice.

"We have brought all our full squad of 24 players and their families, it's going to be a pretty arduous campaign during the World Cup and hopefully we'll get through to the final.

"We will spend six weeks away from our families so this is a good opportunity for us to spend time with our families before the start of our campaign."

Meanwhile, Meninga said Fiji had an opportunity to see some of the best rugby league players in the world tomorrow.

"We are here to put our best foot forward in terms of our preparation for the RLWC. Fiji has a fantastic team and the Kumuls also have a strong side. It's going to be a highly entertaining game, 120 minutes of rugby league and hopefully the teams will put on a good show," Meninga said.

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