Mick Potter describes his role as head coach of the Fiji Bati as an absolute privilege.
The nib Newcastle Knights assistant coach said it’s great to see the honour players feel when they put on the Fijian jersey.
“They are all very proud Fijians and whether or not they’ve been brought up in Australia, they still hold on to that legacy,” said Potter.
“When all the guys get together, they’re very humble and very proud of their culture.
“It is so great to be involved with the Fijians; I really enjoy my time there and they are all appreciative of the opportunity they get to represent their home country.
“They have such devotion as well as a little bit of singing and a little bit of praying, that happens every single day and brings everyone together and a little closer.”
Potter spent a large part of 2015 coaching the Fijian Under 20s side and in 2016 was announced the new head coach.
After reaching the semi-finals in their last two World Cup tournaments in 2008 and 2013, expectations will be high for this year’s Bati team.
As the 2017 World Cup draws closer, Potter admits they are close to finalising their team.
“Looking at players and seeing what they’ve been doing in the last few weeks including the NRL players in the semis,” he said.
“There is quite a bit of work going on in the background.”
Young Knights forward Jacob Saifiti is shaping up for another run with the international side, despite this time being without brother Daniel, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
“It is unfortunate for Daniel,” Potter stated.
“Jacob is progressing and he’s had a couple of games for Fiji and he has shown that he is going to be a really good NRL player.
“He is pretty excited about being in the World Cup this year, it is his first and hopefully it won’t be his last.
“He is still very young and has got the world at his feet if he continues to develop.”