He has represented Papua New Guinea Kumuls in the tour of France and Prime Minister's XIII, however the former Queensland Residents hooker Tommy Butterfield will be helping to lead his East Tigers side against the PNG Hunters in a crucial Round 20 match in Port Moresby.
Butterfield’s mother is from the Ferguson Island (Milne Bay province of PNG) and his father is an Australian who moved to PNG at a very young age and grew up in the city of Lae.
Butterfield recalls playing rugby league at an early age in the Top Town suburb of Lae city before moving over to Australia.
“I learnt rugby league on the streets in top town PNG,” Butterfield said.
“When I moved to Brisbane I joined Redcliffe Dolphins and played there from Under 7s to Queensland Cup, having a stint with the Broncos 20s in between.
“I toured Europe with PNG in 2007 and with Australia Universities in 2010. I played PNG PMs XIII in 2009. I moved to Easts to be coached by Craig Ingebrigtsen in 2013.”
This is Butterfield’s fourth season with the Tigers side
“Easts has been good. I became a better footballer at Easts. I've got lifelong friends now at Easts,” Butterfield said.
He also has his own challenges with the crafty rake having undergone shoulder surgery prior to the seasons start.
“This year I had a late start due to shoulder surgery, but the shoulder is feeling strong again now and just looking forward to finishing the year strong for Easts,” he said.
“I played for Queensland Residents last year, but didn't get a chance this year due to injury.”
When asked about the PNG Hunters programme, he was full of praise.
“The Hunters have a great program. They have the perfect coach to lead them as well. It's good to see guys in their team starting to get recognised by Australian teams.”
The Hunters went down to the Dolphins last week in a tight affair, but they will be looking forward to get back in the winner’s circle in front of home fans.
Easts lost to South Logan last week so will be aiming to improve their game.
“We just need to stick to our game plan. Hold the ball and win the ruck personally just run more,” Butterfield said.
He added “I just hoping can get lots of Milne Bay people to the game Sunday to come support me and the Tigers. Also a shout out to my family and friends in Alotau, Milne Bay.”