Fiji set to trump NZ for Vunivalu’s services
SUVA, Fiji-April 19: 3:21pm(NRL.com):Storm sensation Suliasi Vunivalu has been dubbed the Fijian Flyer since he burst onto the scene 12 months ago, and after some conjecture surrounding eligibility it appears as though he’s on track to represent the Bati when they take on Tonga as part of the Pacific Test triple-header on May 6.
Born in Fiji, Vunivalu moved to New Zealand as a teenager where he was in the Auckland Blues’ rugby union system before deciding to link up with the Melbourne Storm in 2014.
The explosive winger has developed into one of the best finishers in the game since making his debut last season and looks set to earn his Fiji debut in the May Test despite some reported interest from the Kiwis.
“There was a whisper that New Zealand had made some enquiries because I think he’d spent a little bit of time as a student over there,” Fiji coach Mick Potter told NRL.com following a chat with Vunivalu on Tuesday afternoon.
“As far as I know, he said he’s going to be playing for us in May so that’s all that matters. His form has been outstanding from the games I’ve been watching.
“He didn’t pledge his allegiance or anything like that, but he’s looking forward to getting a run for Fiji – as long as he’s fit, obviously. He’s got a few games to go before the Test against Tonga.
“He’s going to be a fantastic asset to our squad and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Speaking to NRL.com on Saturday following the Storm’s 30-26 win over the Sea Eagles, Vunivalu was quick to downplay any suggestions he was a walk-up starter for the Fijian side.
“I’ve got no comment on that. I’m just focussing on NRL at the moment for the Storm,” Vunivalu said.
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