SUVA, Fiji (AP) — National Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne will turn out for Fiji for the first time in nine years after being chosen in its 24-man squad for the Rugby League World Cup.
Hayne, who remains one of league's hottest properties after his brief switch to American football, is one of 18 NRL players named on Saturday in the Fiji Bati team for the cup, which will be played in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from Oct. 27.
Other NRL stars include Melbourne's prolific try-scorer Suliasi Vunivalu, Manly's Apisai Koroisai, Wests' Kevin Naiqama who will captain the team, and Brisbane's Korbin Sims. Brother Ashton Sims and Junior Roqica have been selected from the U.K. Super League.
Coach Mick Potter finalized his team after a match on Saturday between the Fiji Residents and a team of overseas-based players.
Hayne, who last played for Fiji at the 2008 World Cup, will join the team on Sunday ahead of next weekend's tri-series with Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Fiji has qualified for the semifinals of the last two World Cups, and Potter said their goal was to reach the final this year.
The team faces the United States on Oct. 28, Wales on Nov. 5, and Italy on Nov. 10 in its first three matches.
Fiji: Kane Evans, Salesi Fainga'a, Jarryd Hayne, Tui Kamikamica, Villiame Kikau, Apisai Koroisau, Joe Lovadua, Henry Raiwalui, Taane Milne, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Marcelo Montoya, Kevin Naiqama (captain), Ben Nakubuwai, Mikaele Ravalawa, Junior Roqica, Jacob Saifiti, Ashton Sims, Korbin Sims, Pio Seci, James Storer Akuila Uate, Eloni Vunakece, Suliasi Vunivalu, Brayden Wiliame, Etuate Bola.