PNG Kumuls team named for Pacific Test

The PNG LNG Kumuls team that will take on Cook Islands in next Saturday’s Pacific Test at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney was announced this afternoon.

The 18 man squad was revealed by Chairman of the PNG Rugby Football League, Sandis Tsaka at a press conference at the National Football Stadium.

Tsaka said the Kumuls will be without captain and Brisbane Broncos player, David Mead who is carrying a rib injury and will be out of action for the next two-three weeks.

“The team was put together by the selectors chaired by the coach himself. It’s the best team available.

“The selectors picked the team in anticipation of injuries and suspensions,” said Tsaka.

Coach of the Kumuls, Michael Marum added on saying the team is a strong one.

“We picked players on form. There are a lot of injuries from the last Pacific test team allowing an opportunity for our younger players to come up and play test football.

“We know Cook Islands will be a tough side, but we believe this team can produce the results for our country,” said Marum.

Marum cleared the air on questions raised about why several players from Australia (NRL, Intrust Super Cup) and England (Super League) were not selected.

“Ray Thompson is injured, Kato Ottio just played his first game today from injury so we don’t want to rush him in.

“Kurt Baptiste will also play his first game next weekend. In the United Kingdom, we have Paul Aiton who is playing but it’s just too far for him to get across. It’s only five days in camp so it’s no point in bringing him in and out again.

“But these players will be eligible for the World Cup,” said Marum.

The PNG LNG Kumuls:

1) Stargroth Amean, 2) Justin Olam, 3) Nene Mcdonald, 4) Thompson Teteh, 5) Adex Wera, 6) Ase Boas, 7) Watson Boas, 8) Henry Wan, 9) Wartovo Puara Jr, 10) Luke Page, 11) Rhyse Martin, 12) Rod Griffin, 13) Stanton Albert, 14) Tommy Butterfield, 15) Wellington Albert, 16) Willie Minoga, 17) Nixon Put, 18) Richard Pandia. Coach: Michael Marum.

The Kumuls will assemble in Sydney on Monday evening with the captain to be announced later during the week.

Troy Taule