Albert glad to have PNG players in UK

Widnes Vikings prop forward and PNG Kumul, Wellington Albert, is looking forward to seeing his Papua New Guinean counterparts in England.

He had initially played with them in the same team in PNG but this time, they will be competing against each other.

The 24-year-old, who is from a remote village near Mendi, Southern Highlands, expressed excitement after the signing of Ase and Watson Boas for the 2019 season of the Betfred Championship in England.

“I love playing alongside them but now I’ll play against them in (the) Championship,” said Albert.

“I love them coming over as well. Good to have PNG boys in England.”

Albert shared that it was quite difficult adjusting to his new surroundings in the United Kingdom early this year, but his teammates and staff at Widnes helped him through the transition.

It was a tough year for him as just two days before him and fellow signee, Kato Ottio, were due to fly to the UK, Ottio passed away after collapsing while training with the PNG Hunters.

Widnes responded to the tragedy by signing younger brother Stanton who, unfortunately, was released from his contract in May on compassionate grounds.

Just last month, Wellington signed a contract extension with the club which will see him play until 2020.

He will now be able to see more Papua New Guineans in the UK, as Stargroth Amean and Wartovo Puara Jnr have also signed on to join Barrow Raiders for a year.

Meantime, Albert will join the PNG LNG Kumuls for the first game against England Knights in Lae on October 27.

Carmella Gware