Rugby League

England RL

5 Oct 2022

Three Fiji Players to Watch against England on Friday

Three Fiji Players to Watch against England on Friday

England will face Fiji on Friday evening at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford as the final match before the Rugby League World Cup commences. Here is a look at some of the Fiji players, who could have a huge say on the match on Friday.

Kevin Naiqama will be a familiar name to many England fans. The Fiji captain played for St Helens for three seasons, in which he lifted the Challenge Cup and Grand Final. In his final appearance for the club, Naiqama was named as the Harry Sunderland trophy winner as St Helens beat Catalans Dragons 12-10 in the 2021 Super League Grand Final. 

During his time at St Helens, he mainly featured in the centres where he made 76 appearances in which he scored 39 tries. 

Naiqama will be returning to the Betfred Super League in 2023 after signing a two-year deal with the Huddersfield Giants.

The Fijian captain is one of the most experienced players in the side having made 20 appearances for Fiji, 10 of which have come during World Cups.

Naiqama is a versatile player, who usually plays either in the halves or full-back for the national side, however he is seen playing in the centres at club level.

Another threat who could pose a problem to England will be Viliame Kikau.

The second rower has been a danger both for Fiji and Penrith Panthers. Kikau made his final appearance for the Panthers in the NRL Grand Final, where he played his part as Penrith won the competition for the second year in a row.

During the 2022 season, he made 25 appearances scoring nine tries. Arguably his most dangerous attribute is his offload game. He made 45 offloads, which was the fifth most of any player in the NRL.

Kikau has made 12 international appearances since coming on off the bench against Papua New Guinea in 2015. The second rower has scored eight tries, including a double during Fiji’s biggest ever victory which was against Wales in Townsville during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Maika Sivo will be another danger to England on Friday night. The Parramatta Eels winger has missed large parts of the season; however, he has been dangerous when he has featured.

Sivo made 16 appearances during the 2022 campaign in which he scored 13 tries and assisted four tries. His NRL try scoring record is very impressive with 67 tries in 83 appearances since making his debut in 2019 against Penrith.

Sivo burst onto the scene in 2019 scoring 22 tries due to his pace and power. He was the top scorer that season in the NRL.

Internationally, he had made just three appearances for Fiji. He got off to an impressive start scoring a brace on debut against Lebanon in 2019. Sivo has made two appearances since then, both against Papua New Guinea, including earlier in this year.