Kaiviti Silktails head coach Wes Naiqama yesterday confirmed that Nadera Panthers halfback Penioni Tagituimua is going to captain the side in this season’s New South Wales Rugby League’s Ron Massey Cup clash against Blacktown Workers.
The 21-year-old Tagituimua made his international debut for the Vodafone Fijian Bati side during the 2019 Pacific Test against Lebanon at the Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.
He was also instrumental in the Fijian rugby league nines side that won gold at the Pacific Games in Samoa.
Speaking to SUNsports, Naiqama has rated the leadership qualities of the youngster during the team’s training sessions.
“Really the positions of one, six, seven and nine- our halves and playmakers who can lead from the front with passion and pride,” the former Fijian Bati captain said.
“The person here that needs to take the greatest responsibility is Penioni Tagituimua.
“His experience will be handy throughout the Ron Massey Cup season and we are looking forward to his great leadership.”
Tagituimua told SUNsports the call-up is a challenge for them.
“The role comes with great responsibility and I thank God for the opportunity,” he said.
“It’s an honour to lead this young side which I believe will do wonders in our first game.
“We missed out last weekend due to the flood but this week we are all excited to play.
“It’s been a long time coming for us as a team and we want to start off with a win.
“These young boys are ready to display a good game of rugby league.
“The change of the rules will be a concern but we have been monitoring that well.”
Naiqama added that getting the team together is very important and team bonding has been an enjoyable experience that will carry them forward.
“Obviously we have devotions in the morning and evening where every player gets to lead and at the same time it also gives them the opportunity to practise leadership which they will otherwise get,” he said.
“Preparations has been well so far, taking into consideration that we are playing the number one of the best teams in the comp.”
Naiqama believes the rules of the match can be a game-changer during the game.
“They have picked a very strong side, they are going to be very fit,” he said. “They are one of the best teams in the comp and we are looking forward in meeting them. I’m excited and the boys are eager to get on that pitch this Saturday,” he said.
Sivo re-signs with Eels
Meanwhile, Fijian powerhouse Maika Sivo has inked an extension with the Parramatta Eels after turning down a code switch to top French club Racing 92.
The star winger has signed a fresh two-year deal that will keep him in the blue and gold until at least the end of the 2023 NRL season.
He is going to be a sure starter for the Vodafone Fijian Bati at this year’s Rugby League World Cup in England.
“I love it here. This is my third year (at Parramatta) and I love the people at this club,” Sivo recently told NRL.com.