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Saifiti chooses Fiji

Elenoa Baselala In Townsville, Australia
Sunday, October 29, 2017

ONE of the talented youngsters in the Vodafone Fiji Bati team, Jacob Saifiti, may have a Samoan surname, but he would choose to play for his mother's country of birth in a heartbeat.

It is his homage to his Fijian grandparents who raised him and twin brother, Daniel.

Missing his nan's roti and curry, home and twin, Jacob who has played 39 NRL matches since making a debut in 2016 says he sees himself as a true Fijian.

Saifiti was named in coach Mick Potter's starting line-up against USA.

"My grandad is from Natewa, Cakaudrove and my nan is from Naitasiri. Playing for Fiji is like giving back to them for all they did for me and my brother.

"It is also a thank you to the people of Natewa who have embraced me and my brother. Personally, I see myself as a true Fijian."

Jacob has visited Natewa twice but has yet to visit his nan's village.

"Nan doesn't want me to go to her village without her so I would have to wait for that."

Jacob and Daniel both debuted for Fiji against PNG in 2015.

Daniel, a promising player himself ranking third in the Knights in all run metres, is nursing a shoulder injury which has ruled him out of the RLWC.

"He was gutted and we are missing each other a lot," Jacob said.

"This is the longest we have been away from each other. I remember the last time we were apart was only for two weeks.

"We usually do everything together."

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