2021 Rugby League World Cup

Lam knocks back chance to coach Kumuls

The Leigh Centurions boss revealed exclusively to Love Rugby League that he knocked back the chance to coach his native Papua New Guinea in a World Cup, for a third time.

Lam insisted that he is happy in his current role as Assistant Coach to Mal Meninga for Australia, a position which he has been in, since 2016.

Papua New Guinea last week announced the head coaching appointment of Stanley Tepend, who will lead the Kumuls at this autumn’s World Cup.

Flanagan to help Tepend in PNG World Cup role

Tepend, who guided Lae Snax Tigers to six premierships in the PNG domestic competition before joining the coaching staff of the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup, will take over from Michael Marum after six years as his assistant.

Flanagan, who took Cronulla to their inaugural premiership in 2016 and is currently engaged as a list management consultant with St George Illawarra, will support and advise Tepend as Kumuls coaching consultant.

New Kumuls coach to consider de Belin as PNG launch NRL bid

Highly regarded and long serving PNG coach Michael Marum, who took charge of the Kumuls in 2016 after Mal Meninga stepped down to accept the Australian job, recently resigned from the post and is considering a tilt at politics ahead of this year’s elections.

The PNGRFL is expected to announce Marum’s replacement next week to give the new coach time to prepare for the June 25 Pacific Test double header at Campbelltown Stadium, which also features a clash between Samoa and the Cook Islands.

International Rugby League Returns

With the 2021 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) scheduled for later this year, the PNG LNG Kumuls are looking forward to the mid-year test as an opportunity to build the national team’s preparations towards the World Cup. 

Mid-season Tests to kick start World Cup campaigns for Pacific nations

New Zealand will host Tonga in Auckland, while Samoa meet Cook Islands and Fiji face Papua New Guinea in a Pacific Test double-header at Campbelltown Stadium on June 25.

The Tests will take place during the NRL’s stand-alone representative round, which features the women’s State of Origin in Canberra on June 24 and Game II of the men’s series between NSW and Queensland in Perth on June 26.

2021 World Cup officially postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

The World Cup board met on Wednesday night and reluctantly decided postponement was the best option after the ARLC and NZRL withdrew the Kangaroos, Jillaroos, Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns due to concerns over the safety of players travelling to England this year.

NRL clubs backed the decision of the ARLC and called for the tournament to be postponed to ensure the top players were on display at the World Cup, which was set to be the most ambitious in the code’s history.