The Fijian squad:
Lote Tuqiri (captain)
|Group 1 news
Despite being only in the development stage after playing full international rugby league for just five years, the Fijians should prove exciting runners with the ball and bring a touch of South Seas sparkle to their matches.
In Brisbane Broncos' free scoring winger, 21-year-old Lote Tuquiri, they have a player of the highest ability and one capable of registering numerous tries in this season's National Rugby League competition in Australia. Given ample possession he will trouble even the strongest of defences. And former Sheffield Eagles full back Waisale Sovatabua has enough experience of English conditions in Superleague to add to Fiji's attacking capabilities from behind a three-quarter line.
A member of underdogs Sheffield Eagles' Challenge Cup upset of the mighty Wigan at Wembley in 1998, the powerful Sovatabua is hardly respectful of reputations and is capable of impressing himself upon any opposition.
Fiji coach Don Furner, himself a former Kangaroo tourist to Great Britain, knows well that it could prove difficult for his squad to adapt to conditions in England in October and November. Though always eager to run with the ball out of defence at every opportunity, the Fijians do tend to be a little too carefree on attack in the face of hard, seasoned professionals. Much work will have to be done on the defence if Fiji are not to concede some of the high scores they suffered in their first World Cup appearance five years ago.