Big game for local players

THE much anticipated Oceania Netball Tri-Series battle between the Fiji Pearls and the Silver Ferns scheduled in Suva on January 19 will be a lifetime opportunity for the national players.

Former Fiji Pearls netball captain Mere Rabuka Neiliko says playing against one of the best teams in the world would give the local netters the best opportunity to gauge their standard.

The former Nasinu captain said the national reps especially the younger players should make use of this lifetime opportunity.

Neiliko was part of the Fiji team that lost 25-80 to the Ferns in their last meeting in Singapore three years ago.

She said the Ferns would not treat the tournament lightly.

“This is a big opportunity for the girls and big boost to their netball career,” said Neiliko.

“I have played against them but we cannot rely on past performances in the upcoming test and we need to stay focused and committed to our game plan.”

Neiliko will be one of the defenders likely to force her way in the final 12-member team for the Oceania series.

She is also expected to team up again with former Nasinu and national teammate Matila Waqanidrola.

Other players to battle with these two experienced defenders are Teimumu Moce, Rejieli Daveua, Sera Dakuitoga and Luse Kotobalavu.

19-member squad – Taraima Mitchell, Maria Lutua, Una Rauluni, Nina Cirikisuva, Losalini Tuifagalele, Deborah Delana, Raijeli Daveua, Vaiti Waqatabu, Teimumu Vukinavanua, Sera Dakuitoga, Matila Waqanidrola, Sereana Malagi, Alisi Naiqiri, Verenaisi Sawana, Alesi Waqa, Vilisi Tavui, Ana Erenavula, Mere Neiliko, Luse Kotobalavu

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