Kuk to captain Orchids in Pacific Test match

Oil Search PNG Orchids coach Nigel Hukula has named Amelia Kuk as captain of the Oil Search PNG Orchids for Saturday’s inaugural Pacific Test against Fiji in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The 24-year-old, originally from Western Highlands Province, becomes only the second captain of the National Test team after Cathy Neap.

Kuk will lead a new-look Oil Search PNG Orchids Team with 13 debutants in the 18-woman side currently in Sydney.

“She brings that leadership, and she brings together the players who are based in Australia as well as the PNG-based girls, by speaking Tok Pisin and also having that understanding of where we are in women’s rugby league and where we want to go,” coach Hukula said from Sydney.

“Amelia has a lot of experience and she’ll be backed up well by vice-captain Carol Humeu,” Hukula added. “She has shown how keen she is to be back with this group of girls and help them to mould together and make a mark for us in this game.”

Kuk, when told of her appointment, said: “I’m very humbled to be named captain for this weekend’s Test match. It’s a privilege to just put on the PNG jersey but to be named captain is a huge honour. 

“We’ve got a great bunch of girls who are buying into what we are trying to do here and I can’t wait to lead them out on Saturday.”

Kuk became Orchid No. 21 when she debuted in the 2017 Rugby League Women’s World Cup against England in Sydney.

Amelia was a member of the Brisbane Broncos women’s team that won the inaugural NRL Women’s premiership in 2018. She has also represented the Australian Jillaroos, Queensland Maroons and the PNG Rugby 7s team.

She currently plays with Ipswich Brothers in Brisbane. She works full time as a nurse and in her spare time, on a program building mental resilience for athletes.   

“I would like to thank coach Nigel Hukula and the coaching staff for their confidence to lead the Oil Search PNG Orchids Test team on Saturday,” Kuk said.

The Oil Search PNG Orchids take on Fiji in the inaugural Pacific Test at 3.40pm this Saturday, June 22, at Leichhardt in Sydney, Australia.

Press release