Baptiste to start in Sunday’s clash

Kurt Baptiste has been named as hooker in the PNG LNG Kumuls’ extended 21-man squad for this Sunday’s World Cup clash against Ireland in Port Moresby.

Moses Meninga, Nixon Put and Wartovo Puara Jr have all been named on the extended bench.

“Last weekend we didn’t know too much about the Wales side so put in four hookers. This weekend against Ireland will be much tougher so we made the change with Kurt starting at hooker and James at first receiver,” says coach Michael Marum.

“Wartovo is still on the extended bench so if there’s any changes to be made, we can always call on him.

“Stargroth missed last weekend so he’s starting from the bench.”

The Kumuls completed this afternoon’s training session and will have the day off tomorrow.

“Today was more on our skills and technique plays. Our defence is something that we’ll have to keep working on.”

The 21 man squad is: (three to be omitted)

1.         David MEAD – Captain

2.         Justin OLAM

3.         Kato OTTIO

4.         Nene MACDONALD

5.         Garry LO

6.         Ase BOAS

7.         Watson BOAS

8.         Stanton ALBERT

9.         Kurt BAPTISTE

10.       Luke PAGE

11.       Rhyse MARTIN

12.       Willie MINOGA

13.       Paul AITON

14.       James SEGEYARO

15.       Wellington ALBERT

16.       Stargroth AMEAN

17.       Enock MAKI

18.       Moses MENINGA

19.       Lachlan LAM

20.       Nixon PUT

21.       Wartovo PUARA Jnr

The Wolfhounds will arrive in the country tomorrow.

Marum said he will finalise his 18-man squad by Friday. The captain’s run will take place at 3pm the next day.

Sunday’s Pool C match will kick off at 4pm at the Oil Search National Football Stadium.

Troy Taule