Fiji appoint head coach to lead them at 2025 World Cup

Drew Darbyshire
Kevin Naiqama Fiji Noqu Masu Wise Kativerata SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Wise Kativerata will lead Fiji at the 2025 World Cup in France after being appointed as permanent coach of the Bati on a three-year deal.

The 46-year-old answered an SOS call to take charge of Fiji at last year’s World Cup after then head coach Joe Rabele was hospitalised.

Rabele’s involvement in the World Cup was limited by an infection which resulted in him being hospitalised in England and having a little toe amputated to save his leg.

Kativerata has now took over head coaching duties on a permanent basis. He has also been appointed national coaching director; a role which has been left vacant following the departure of Brandon Costin in 2020.

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Kativerata a Wise appointment for Fiji

FNRL chairman Aporosa Lutunauga said: “Wise has the capacity and grit to undertake this critical role in the next three year.

“Wise is among the few who has NRL high performance coach level three with the highest success rate in nurturing; and developing elite Fijian players for the NRL.”

Rabele called on former NRL man Kativerata to take over last autumn. He guided the Bati to a quarter-final appearance against New Zealand.

Newcastle Knights assistant coach Brian McDermott and James Webster helped Kativerata with Fiji’s World Cup campaign. All three were called in at short notice.

Kativerata took over as interim boss just two days before their opening match of last year’s World Cup against Australia. He represented his country in 2007.

Suva-born Kativerata made 16 appearances in the NRL during his playing career for St George Illawarra Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels.

Fiji were in a group with Australia, Italy and Scotland at the World Cup. They fell short to world champions Australia in their opener before progressing through the groups after beating Scotland and Italy. They lost 24-18 to New Zealand in the quarter-final.

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