Tikiko Noke.

Any young player around the world has dreams and aspirations to one day play in the Rugby League World Cup – with some players getting the chance to realise that dream, whilst others do not have a chance to do so.

For Tikiko Noke, a seventeen-year old Fijian centre/back-rower, he is now just one step away from realising his World Cup dream, after he was named in the Fijian Residents side in Suva.

Noke, who is a highly rated youngster in Fiji, has support from Fiji National Rugby League General Manager Tomi Finau, who says that Noke is a player of immenese talent.

“He played for the Fiji Residents during the Battle of the Bati and also played for the Lautoka Crushers in the Vodafone Cup competition,” Finau said.

“Last year Noke led the Lautoka Central College to scoop the Fiji Secondary School Under-18 Cup and also Lautoka Crushers to win the Under-18 national title.”

Noke was a player for the Electric Lautoka Crushers at Lautoka College, and manager/coach of that side, Mesake Navugona, says he is not at all surprised with the selection of Noke.

“He topped the squad in the fitness test and I strongly believe that he will be one of the local players to make it to the World Cup in England,” said Navugona.

Weighing in at 92 kilograms and originally a centre, the plan for Fiji Bati coach and Newcastle Knights assistant Rick Stone, is to play the colossal youngster in the back-row.

“Rick has given some training gear to help him in his preparation and at 92 kilos he is bench pressing 138 to 140 kilos. But Noke’s selection is a big boost to our club because he is our only player in the Fiji Residents squad and we are always there to support all the time,” said Navugona.

Noke’s chances are made even better, by the fact that he managed to impress Bati coach Rick Stone during a three-day camp at QEB.

“Noke has shown a lot of maturity in his play and that comes after playing together with the senior players,” said Fiji Bati Assistant coach Joe Rabele said.

By ricky

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