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Dual skippers for Fiji

03 Mar 06 04:09
Unaisi Rokoura of Fiji out-stretches Jamaica during the Manchester Games. 

Unaisi Rokoura of Fiji out-stretches Jamaica during the Manchester Games. 

The Fiji Netball team has departed for Melbourne, and for the first time it will have two captains at the helm as mid-court star Unaisi Rokoura and defender Matila Waqanidrola share the responsibility.

Rokoura captained the national side at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, 2003 South Pacific Games and 2003 World Netball Championships in Jamaica.

“I've been national captain for the past four years but my role has always been made possible by the support of the players," Rokoura said.

"I believe in these players and leading them with Matila to the Games won't be difficult because we're all leaders.”

Matila Waqanidrola, the 24-year-old goal defender, is also prepared for the new challenge. She was drafted into the national squad as a non-travelling reserve for the 1998 World Netball Championship in Christchurch with fellow defender Mere Rabuka.

"It's a huge responsibility and not going to be an easy job, but I see this as a big challenge put before me and know it will be made easy by all the girls," she said.

"This is the Commonwealth Games and not just any other event and we're ready to steer the way."

Fiji, coached by former Netball Australia Director of Coaching Megan Simpson, will be looking to improve on their seventh-place finish in Manchester.

As a part of their Games preparation the Fijians will play a series of warm-up matches in the north-east Victorian regional city of Benalla, including a clash with the Wales national team on 10 March.

The Commonwealth Games Netball competition will take place at the State Netball and Hockey Centre from 17-24 March, with finals at the Multi-Purpose Venue on 25 and 26 March.

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