Kevin Naiqama decision vindicated as he again is given huge Fijian honour

Kevin Naiqama was outstanding at St Helens especially on the big stage.

He scored a brace and picked up the Harry Sunderland Award in the 2021 Grand Final but was also exceptional in the 2020 decider. He even scored a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Catalans that season as well.

However, as his St Helens career came to an end, mystery shrouded his future with talk that the Grand Final could be his last game. That said, with a World Cup around the corner there was something to tempt him to keep going.

Perhaps that’s why he was open to opportunities down under with Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters chasing him. In the end he joined the latter and his decision to keep playing during a World Cup has been vindicated in the first international since leaving St Helens with him keeping the captain’s armband for the Fiji Bati side who will play Papua New Guinea come June 25th in a Pacific Test.

It’s a massive vote of confidence in the veteran centre with NRL Champion Viliame Kikau only named as his deputy.

It justifies his decision to keep playing as it suggests that he’s still Fiji’s main man and the man to lead them into this year’s World Cup. After the heroics his side pulled off in 2017 defeating New Zealand in the quarter-finals, he’ll be hoping his side can conjure up more magic.

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