Tagituimua picked to join Bati

Penioni Tagituimua on attack for the Fiji Residents against Tonga at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

NADERA Panthers halfback Penioni Tagituimua has received a call-up and is named in Brandon Costin’s Vodafone Fiji Bati extended squad for their Pacific Test Series match against the Lebanon Cedars next weekend.

“He was our best player in the Tri-test series against Tonga,” Costin said.

“And it is very hard in Fiji and Australia to find quality halfbacks of Fijian descent in the National Rugby League,” Tagituimua, 20 from Kadavu has been outstanding for his club in the Vodafone Cup competition and would be an added boost in the halves.

“It’s my job to develop players,” Costin said.

At 20 years of age and the RLWC in 2021 it is highly likely that Penioni is going to be a part of our RLWC squad so we really need him to get experience and exposure at this higher level.”

Nabua Broncos forward Jowasa Drodrolagi who had also been initially called and had been dropped after injuring himself in during the last test between the Vodafone Fiji Bati Residents and the Tonga Residents.

A mixture of young and seasoned players, Costin said the players selected had the capabilities to produce results next weekend.

“These 20 players are going to give us the best chance of winning with a solid performance,” Costin will finalise his final 17-member squad after this weekend’s round of NRL games.

The Vodafone Fiji Bati will march into camp on Monday June 17th at St Marys Rugby League Club in Sydney.

Vodafone Fiji Bati extended squad: 1. Marcel Montoya, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Isaac Lumelume, 4.. Ta’ane Milne, 5. Maika Sivo, 6. Sitiveni Moceidreke, 7. Brandon Wakem, 8. Tui Kamikamica, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. Kane Evans, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Jason Bukuya, 14. Joe Lovodua, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. D’Rhys Miller, 17. Korbin Sims, 18. Mika Ravalawa, 19. Penioni Tagituimua, 20. Junior Fai’inga

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