PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka today announced the PNG LNG Kumuls squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in the presence of ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry and National Gaming Control Board CEO Imelda Agon.
Ten SP PNG Hunters including Boas bothers Ase and Watson have been included in Michael Marum’s squad along with Wartovo Puara, Wellington Albert, Willie Minoga, Stargroth Amean, Nixon Putt, Stanton Albert, Moses Meninga and Enock Maki.
Garry Lo - who played with the PNG Hunters in the first season - makes a welcomed return to the national side along with James Segeyaro.
The captain is David Mead with Ase Boas as vice captain.
Tsaka congratulated the selected players and urged them to play their best in front of the home crowd.
“Riding on the back of the successful SP PNG Hunters season in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup, the support of our nation’s eight million plus people will turn to the PNG LNG Kumuls in the 2017 World Cup campaign," Tsaka said.
"With three home games, the expectations of our people is there for you to perform well. All we ask of you is to play every game with pride and passion. We will be right behind you.”
He said ExxonMobil PNG is the operator of PNG LNG the naming rights sponsor to our national rugby league team – PNG LNG Kumuls.
“We value the partnership with PNG LNG and other sponsors for their continuous support especially at this time when PNG, for the first time, will host three Rugby League World Cup pool games in Port Moresby,” Tsaka said.
ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry said PNG LNG has been a very proud sponsor of the national team for the last 5 years.
“From the start of the sponsorship, we had a shared goal with PNGRFL and the national government to support and develop the sport in PNG and to help get the national team to the Rugby League World Cup.
“It is very exciting that we have now arrived at our destination and for the first time, PNG will play host to three matches in Port Moresby,” said Mr Barry.
He added that the PNG LNG Kumul players have an important leadership role to play as ambassadors and role models, to have a positive influence on Papua New Guinea youth in particular.
“On behalf of the entire PNG LNG family, congratulations to the players that have been selected to represent their country, Papua New Guinea, in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. We wish the players, coach Michael Marum and team management all the best for the warm up tri nation series in Fiji and the penultimate tournament, the Rugby League World Cup,” Mr Barry said.
Coach Michael Marum said the squad will assemble in Port Moresby on tomorrow (Thursday) October 5 and undergo medical and fitness tests.
“We will have our first training run on Friday,” he said.
The team leaves for Fiji next Wednesday, October 11 for the Tri Nations series against Australia and Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on October 14. They return on October 16 and have a few days break before assembling into camp on October 20.
The PNG LNG Kumuls play their first gamer on October 28 against Wales. The second match is a week later on November 5 against Ireland and the final home pool game is against USA on November 12. All games will be played at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
The squad is:
Ase Boas - SP PNG Hunters
David Mead - Brisbane Broncos
Enock Maki - SP PNG Hunters
Garry Lo - Sheffield Eagles
James Segeyaro - Cronulla Sharks
Justin Olam - Melbourne Storm
Kato Ottio - Canberra Raiders
Kurt Baptiste - Canberra Raiders
Lachlan Lam - Sydney Roosters
Luke Page - Burleigh Bears
Moses Meninga - SP PNG Hunters
Nene MacDonald - St George Illawarra Dragons
Nixon Putt - SP PNG Hunters
Paul Aiton – Catalan Dragons
Rhyse Martin – Canterbury Bulldogs
Rod Griffin – Canterbury Bulldogs
Stanton Albert - SP PNG Hunters
Stargroth Amean - SP PNG Hunters
Thompson Teteh - Redcliffe Dolphins
Wartovo Puara Jnr - SP PNG Hunters
Wellington Albert – SP PNG Hunters
Watson Boas – SP PNG Hunters
Willie Minoga – SP PNG Hunters