Flying Fijians v Fiji Bati

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Who would win in an all Fijian cross code blockbuster?

All this talk lately about the New Zealand All-Blacks and Australian Kangaroos going head to head has got me thinking, how would our own boys fair against each other in their own cross code rumble?

Of course, the rules would be altered, and one would think it would heavily favour the Rugby League players. I guess the more you take away from Rugby Union the closer it gets to being a game of league.

It’s been done before

It’s not like it hasn’t been done before, In 1996 Super League club Wigan went head to head with Rugby heavyweight Bath in two games. The first a game of league, the second, union rules.

The results were as expected as both sides won their own game. Surprisingly though, Wigan were better at Union than Bath were at the 13-man game although Wigan did boast former All-Black winger Va’aiga Tuigamala and future England stars Jason Robinson and Andy Farrell.

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Robinson would then go on to play in a second code clash 7 years later in 2003 for Sale Sharks against Super League champions St Helens. This match however was in a different format, first half Rugby Union, second half League rules. Sale narrowly won 41-39 after leading 41-0.

Moving on..

Most Fijian players in top flight Rugby League who were born in Fiji grew up playing Rugby Union so the rules would not be foreign to them although we must respect growing up playing the game and playing it professionally are two completely different things.

Viliame Kikau played as an inside centre in his younger days.

There are a couple players in our Flying Fijians who have a league background like Eroni Sau and Semi Radradra.

The teams

I’ve tried to include many players as possible and keep it up to date with players retiring.

Rugby League Teams

I decided to put Botia at lock to for his mobility and aggression with Johnny Dyer on the bench to cover the back row positions. Matawalu can come in as the impact dummy half or as backline cover. Peni Ravai and big Tex Cavubati can rotate with Yato and Tuisue in the front row.

Alivereti Veitokani is much better suited to the fullback position in League than Kini Murimurivalu with his playmaking ability. The Flying Fijians are stacked in the second row so I left Leone Nakarawa out and moved Peceli Yato to front row. He can play anywhere in the forwards.

Rugby Union Teams

Surprisingly the Bati boys do have the cattle to cover most of the positions. Probably flanker they’re a little short but Brayden Williame has played second row for Fiji before and he has the size to play that position. Another option as flanker cover was Taane Milne. I decided to use Viliame Kikau at number 8 since the Bati have more than enough backs to cover centre.

What do you think?

Join in the conversation. Tell us what you think and what changes you would make in the comments below.

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