Vodafone Fiji Bati rep, Kane Evans wants to win for Fiji and his relatives today.
This is when Fiji plays Ireland at 9am.
“I am ready, I am nervous and the thought of it, is making me jump out of my skin,” Evans said from Rochdale, England yesterday.
He was among the 19 players selected by head coach, Rick Stone, to play against Ireland.
The 21-year-old Australian-born and Sydney Roosters prop and second row, is among the powerful forwards in the National Rugby League competition.
“It is unbelievable. I always wanted to play for Fiji and I am closer to achieving that now. I am in the 19-member squad and hopefully if I run on, I do not want to compromise our chances. Ireland will be the underdog and like Fiji in 2008, they can upset Fiji.
“We will win and I will help make us win. I am privileged to play alongside some top players like Petero, Ashton and Akuila. I want to play and win for Fiji, my families in Suva, Nadi and Vanuabalavu,” he said.
Meanwhile Stone took the team on its Captain’s Run yesterday morning at the Spotland Stadium, Rochdale.
The team’s spokesman, Tomi Finau said they expected to play under drizzly and very cold conditions.
“The boys had the captain’s run under rain yesterday. It was also very cold and we are thankful that we had the run under those conditions because it is forecasted that we will play under the same conditions,” Finau said.
“Captain Petero Civoniceva was barking orders and setting directions on the field helped by coach Rick from the sideline. All 19 players are eager to go and Rick has left the naming of the run on 17 until late in order to have fair selection over the selected players.
The boys are confident, the support is tremendous, the players know what is needed of them and we are confident that we will win for our country today. We are confident that we can beat Ireland.”
Coach Stone took the team out for dinner having some Italian food last night.
Finau said the dinner was to try and settle the boys before the match this morning.
Wristbands, fines and mobile phones
Wristbands from Fiji were received yesterday.
“In our last workshop in Nadi, before departure, the boys requested for a production of wristbands to have Relentless, Discipline, Faith and Brotherhood printed on them. This is to help instill and remember our team values every time – when they wake up, when they are alone and also whatever they do in the World Cup. The bands will remind them of the team’s values.
“While it is cold here, there are fines imposed throughout the team. Whoever says that conditions are cold would be fined 30 pounds which is about 60 dollars Fijian. Those who are late to team gatherings and meetings are fined 20 pounds which is 40 Fijian dollars.
“Most importantly, to encourage communication among players, the coach had banned the use of mobile phones during team gathering. Some phones, including mine and some of us in the management, were confiscated last week by the coach. Instead of spending most of their times on texting, emails, twitter and sharing photos, the coach has banned phones to encourage players to talk and communicate among themselves.
“Tomorrow (today) is an important day for all of us. We will win and we dedicate the game to the people of Fiji, Fijians here, our sponsors, our media partners and our families,” Finau said.
The match will be telecast live on Fiji One.
By MAIKELI SERU | Fiji Sun