PNG Kumuls

Kumul #139 Kouoru laid to rest

Fulfilling his wish to be buried beside his late mother and where he originated from since childhood.

At 19 years of age, young Joshua left his village for the city and grew up in Koki. The people along the coastal villages of Keuru, Keakea, Aivau including Orokolo both coastal and inland attended late Joshua's funeral to show their last respects, an emotional farewell to the rugby league star.

Laybutt resigns with Cowboys

Since joining the club in 2021, Laybutt appeared in four games in his maiden NRL season, including a two-try performance in the Round 26 victory over The Dolphins.

Laybutt debuted for Cowboys in round 13 against Parramatta Eels this year.

The PNG international spent the 2023 season on a train and replacement contract. With impressive performances, both in the NRL with Cowboys and with PNG Kumuls in Pacific Championships, Zac was promoted to the top 30 squad.

Younger Laybutt looking to better his game

However, his main focus is on this Sunday’s Bowl final against Fiji. However, he was not happy with his form last week. 

He admitted the Kumuls did not play according to plan adding ill-discipline and poor execution let them down.

Being the youngest sibling of Kumuls Captain Kyle Laybutt, Zac is embracing this opportunity of playing alongside his big brother and adapting well to the PNG culture.


The 22-year-old Southern Highlands star made his mark representing Southern Confederate schools boys and was part of the Junior Kumuls in 2018.

After bursting onto the scene as Hela Wigmen’s Digicel Cup Rookie of the Year two years ago in 2020, it’s been an amazing whirl wind journey for young Rimbu excelling through the PNG Hunters program to earning his first Kumul jumper under newly appointed PNG Kumuls coach, Justin Holbrook.


PNG LNG Kumuls for the upcoming Pacific Championships.

The official announcement was made today by national coach Justin Holbrook at a special luncheon with the Kumuls at the Digicel Head Office in Port Moresby today.

Following his x-factor performance leading an unknown PNG PM’s 13 side against a star studded Australian PM’s 13 in September this year, the Bundaberg born PNG international has again been overwhelmed to be  given the honors to lead the country again against the Cooks this Sunday.

Laybutt is again humbled to lead the team out on Sunday


2023 has been a remarkable season for the 27-year-old veteran when he made his NRL debut for St George Illawarra Dragons in their round 19 clash against Canberra Raiders.

Although he was part of the 2022 rugby league world cup in the UK last year, coming back to Port Moresby for the Pacific Championships this time around is a home coming for the versatile white Kumul veteran.

Holbrook Impressed Kumul’s performance

Only two months into his tenure as the Kumuls head coach, Holbrook was given a 20-men squad to work with. While majority of the group had little or non-capped players, playing at the PM’s 13 level was an unreal experience.

It was a whole new experience for coach Justin Holbrook who appeared over the moon after Saturday’s impressive performance by PNG against the big NRL stars, two of whom he mentored at the Titans in the likes of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui,and Alofiana Khan-Pereira.


The rousing welcome reception that was accorded to the Australian teams upon their arrival yesterday was a real testament to the power of rugby league as a unifying sport bringing the two countries together for the first again in 5 years.

After the arrival of the Australian teams in Port Moresby yesterday, a combined media conference was held at the Stanly Hotel for all the captains and coaches.

Whirlwind season for Morea

Only days after his selection to the national team, Morea could not believe he’s been named Hostplus Cup Rookie of the Year, capping off what’s been a whirlwind season for the young Papa Village sensation. Morea commented spending the preseason with NRL Dolphins was a highlight in itself that has added value to his development.

James makes it into PMs XIII

Mioks five-eight, Garry James, is an all-round footballer with skills that can break open tight games. He proved that in the 2023 finals football.

When his side was on the back-foot, he found a way to get the boys home in the hard-fought battle against Lae Snax Tigers in the preliminary finals. He did the same in the grand final against the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis who were threatening with the opening try.