Fiji Bati international Viliame Kikau is free to play in the Penrith Panthers crucial National Rugby League clash with the New Zealand Warriors after sorting out visa issues with immigration authorities.

Kikau had been in doubt for Friday‘s game in Auckland after a paperwork bungle meant he risked being locked out of Australia had he travelled with the team to New Zealand.

However, the Panthers confirmed yesterday that Kikau, who has a Fiji passport but has applied for Australian residency, has been cleared to fly with his teammates today.

Viliame Kikau reflects following Fiji‘s World Cup semi final defeat by Australia. Photo: AFP

Kikau is no stranger to visa issues – he was close to missing Fiji‘s Rugby League World Cup semi-final defeat to Australia last year after being stuck in New Zealand due to an expired visa.

The 23-year-old‘s inclusion is a huge boost for the fifth-placed Panthers, who face a major battle to claim a top-four spot with just two games remaining.