Photo: NRL (Former Roosters, Storm and Raiders winger Sisa Waqa is eyeing a return to the NRL and the Fiji Bati at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup). Waqa, who was a member of Melbourne’s 2012 premiership-winning team, will take the number of Fijians in the NRL to 23 if he can convince Storm coaching Craig Bellamy to sign him after a stint with French rugby union club, FC Grenoble.The 31-year-old recently returned to Melbourne, where his family had been living, after breaking his jaw and was offered a training contract with the Storm.Melbourne football director Frank Ponissi said a decision would be made on whether to sign Waqa before June 30 so he is eligible to play the remainder of the season.”He got injured just before Christmas and moved back about three weeks ago,” Ponissi said. “We will have a look at him over the next few weeks and if he comes up all right we will sign him for the rest of the season.”He is still a fair way off playing because he has been inactive for a while but he is showing good signs. This is his second week of training and we will probably give it another two weeks before we make a call.”I’m sure he will come into consideration for the Fiji side at the World Cup if he does sign for the rest of the year.”While he played most of his 95 NRL matches for the Roosters, Storm and Raiders on the wing, Waqa would offer the Bati versatility in the backline as he was considered a star five-eighth as a rugby union schoolboy in Fiji and modelled his game on former Wallabies great Stephen Larkham.He played one rugby union Test for Fiji in 2007 before switching codes to join Sydney Roosters in 2009.Waqa has also played centre for the Bati, who he represented at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and in last year’s Melanesian Cup against Papua New Guinea.The signing of Waqa would take the Storm’s Fiji representation to three, along with star winger Suliasi Vunivalu and prop Tui Kamikamika.In total, there are 25 players eligible for the Bati who are currently playing NRL, including Fiji rugby sevens Olympic gold medallist Masivesi Dakuwaqa, who scored a try for Canberra’s NSWRL feeder team, Mounties, in his first game after joining the Raiders last week.Korbin Sims (Broncos)Masivesi Dakuwaqa (Canberra Raiders)Marcelo Montoya, Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury Bulldogs)Jason Bukuya (Cronulla Sharks)Jarryd Hayne, Ben Nakubuwai (Gold Coast Titans)Apisai Koroisau, Akuila Uate (Manly Sea Eagles)Suliasi Vunivalu, Tui Kamikamika, Sisa Waqa (Melbourne Storm)Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels)Waqa Blake, Campbell Regan-Gillard, Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers)Tariq Sims, Taane Milne (St George Illawarra Dragons)John Sutton, Sitiveni Moceidreke (South Sydney Rabbitohs)Kane Evans, Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters)Kevin Naiqama (Wests Tigers)
Jesse Mills UPDATE – 5:00 PM 04-08-16Download AudioA 41-year old Sitka man missing in a kayak since Thursday morning is presumed dead.The Coast Guard suspended the search for 41-year-old Jesse Mills of Sitka this afternoon (Friday 4-8-16). Mills was reported missing by his wife after he did not return from a solo kayaking trip on Wednesday night.During a first-light search Friday, a Coast Guard helicopter discovered an overturned kayak on Kasiana Island. A diver recovered the kayak, wedged between rocks with a paddle attached.Lance Ewers, captain with Sitka Search and Rescue, says that SAR will deploy a search dog to Kasiana Island on Saturday. “We actually have specially trained dogs here in Sitka that know how to drive around in open skiffs and scent, just like they would scent in the woods. We’re hoping the dog will give us some indication of an area we can put our divers in,” he said.Mills left his home in the 1400 block of Halibut Point Road at 10 PM Wednesday night, after telling his wife he was going for a walk. The weather that evening was rainy with winds 15 to 25 mph. Ewers noted that Mills did not leave a float plan.Mills and his wife, Amy Fyrdundel, moved to Sitka from California two months ago. Several friends and co-workers set out in private vessels to search for Mills. Ewers spoke with their employer, Schmolck Mechanical Contractors, who described Mills and Fyrdundel as “really awesome, good, hard working people.”Ewers added, “Both only have been in town for two months and have already built strong bonds with friendships. You could tell that with the outpouring people who wanted to help.”While mobilized searching has been suspended, the USCG Cutter Liberty will remain in Sitka to coordinate volunteer searchers.Jesse Mills UPDATE – 2:00 PM 04-08-16The search for 41-year-old Jesse Mills of Sitka continues. During a first-light search this morning (4-8-16), the Coast Guard helicopter crew discovered an overturned kayak on Kasiana Island. A diver recovered the kayak, wedged between rocks with a paddle attached.Lance Ewers, the captain of Sitka Mountain Rescue, said Mill’s wife, Amy Fyrdundel confirmed the kayak was a match.The Coast Guard Cutter Liberty launched a small boat crew to investigate Kasiana Island. Sitka Search and Rescue organized a search dog and 20 volunteers from the Coast Guard base to comb the shore of Kasiana and the surrounding islands. Ewers said a dive team with the Sitka Fire Department is also working in the area.The Air Station Sitka helicopter crew was diverted from the search to respond to a plane crash on Admiralty Island today. Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said that Air Station Sitka was mustering another helicopter crew this morning to take their place. Jesse Mills UPDATE – 5:00 PM 04-07-16The Coast Guard, Sitka Police and Fire Departments are looking for 40-year-old Jesse Mills. The Sitka man was reported missing by his wife this (04-07-16) morning.Mills left home Wednesday night, wearing a black sweatshirt and black Carhartts. His single kayak, which is described as a lime green and white Seaward, is also missing, prompting his wife to believe he went kayaking.Coast Guard Sector Juneau assumed control of the case.Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said that the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka continue to search for Mills. A Sitka Fire Department boat, Sitka Police and good Samaritans are also actively looking. And their search is not limited to the water.“We don’t have any information that he is indeed kayaking,” Eggert said. “That’s why the police department is also involved with doing shore searches and keeping an eye out for him there.”The Coast Guard has been focusing their search throughout Northern Sitka Sound, as well as Japonski Island and the east side of Kruzof Island.Eggert said the search will continue until further notice. “We don’t know if he’s in any danger, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s important to find him and make sure that he’s safe.”Anyone with information that may assist with the search is encouraged to call the Sector Juneau command center at 907-463-2980.
Go back to the e-newsletterSir Richard Branson’s nine-bedroom chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, The Lodge is situated in one of the Alps’ most exclusive resorts and Europe’s best ski spots offering world-class skiing, fabulous après-ski as well as a dedicated team who will ensure every need is catered for this winter.Situated on a quiet road just 250 metres from the main ski lifts and backing onto one of the returning pistes, The Lodge is in a perfect location for the slopes. The ski area around Verbier includes 195 kilometres of marked pistes of all standards and of every exposure divided over the sectors of Les Ruinettes, Les Attelas, Savoleyres, Bruson and within the resort.For those looking to try something different, guests can go cross-country on snow shoes, or see Verbier from the air with a tandem paraglide. Or if guests fancy escaping to the mountains to recharge their batteries, they can take a dip in the indoor pool or venture outside and keep warm in the Jacuzzi, let off some steam in the steam room or relax and unwind with a treatment from the resident beauty therapist.The Lodge, part of the Virgin Limited Edition collection, can accommodate up to 18 adults in nine bedrooms and up to six children and young adults in a specially designed bunkroom. Rates during the winter season start from CHF 84,643 and are quoted for seven nights’ exclusive hire. Rates include breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as dinner on all but one night during the week, when guests are able to sample the best of Verbier’s culinary delights. All guests are encouraged to treat The Lodge like their own home and are welcome to help themselves to the drinks they would like at any time.Go back to the e-newsletter