Civoniceva - Fiji just fab
Australia's Petero Civoniceva will go up against the country of his birth in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Last Updated: 11/11/08 1:48pm
Fijian-born prop Petero Civoniceva is delighted that the country of his origin has done so well in the World Cup - but insists they will be going no further in the tournament.
The 32-year-old Australia forward is likely to line up against the country of his birth on Sunday in the second semi-final in Sydney.
Born in Suva, Civoniceva was less than 12 months old when his rugby union-playing father moved the family to Brisbane.
However, the Penrith Panther knows just how much the success of the Fiji team will have done to help the sport back on the island.
"I think it's a great achievement for Fiji," he said. "They came into the tournament hoping to perform well and as a developing nation it's fantastic that they find themselves in the semi-finals.
"It will be fantastic for rugby league in Fiji. It will get a lot more interest and hopefully it will get a lot more kids wanting to step into playing rugby league rather than rugby union.
"I'm really happy for them that they're in the semis. The fact they've made a major semi-final will definitely get people talking.
"It's a huge achievement. I think they will get a lot of support, especially if they play that free-flowing football that we all know Fijians can play.
"To see those young Fijian boys play at such a high level in this tournament, I think all Fijians will be very proud."
While he may be delighted to see Fiji do so well, Civoniceva insists he will not have split loyalties when the game gets underway.
The veteran Kangaroo will be doing his best to help the hosts get through to the final as they look to lift the trophy for a seventh successive time.
"I'm proud of my heritage but I'm Australian through and through," Civoniceva confirmed.
"From a young age my heart was always set on wanting to represent Queensland and Australia but there was always some close ties given the fact I was born there."