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PNG Hunters name assistant coach and final 2021 squad

The PNG Hunters have announced both the appointment of their assistant coach and their final 29-player squad in the lead up to the  2021 Intrust Super Cup season.

Additionally, the Hunters will this year relocate to Queensland for the duration of the 2021 competition.

Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League acting CEO Stanley Hondina welcomed the inclusion of former PNG Kumul Paul Aiton to the coaching staff to help head coach Matt Church get the team ready for the Cup season ahead.

“Paul Aiton was Kumul 214, a former captain (who) represented PNG on 12 occasions and has more than 250 games experience at NRL and Super League level,” Hondina said.

Aiton, who has also played in Queensland with Wests Panthers and in the Mackay local league, will offer plenty of experience to the young side.

“Paul is currently in Queensland and he will link with the team when they exit the isolation period,” Hondina said.

Hondina said while there were still many moving parts to be finalised before the relocation, the Hunters were “comfortable with the progress thus far.”

He also acknowledged the hard work being done behind the scenes to make it happen and thanked staff from Queensland Rugby League, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian High Commission, Home Affairs and the Queensland Government for their support in ensuring all processes and requirements were met.


2021 FINAL SP HUNTERS SQUAD AND ASSISTANT COACH NAMED Eleven new faces – Jokedi Bire, Norman Brown, Edwin Ipape, Benji...

Posted by SP PNG Hunters on Sunday, January 10, 2021

The 2021 squad features 11 new faces, with Jokedi Bire, Norman Brown, Edwin Ipape, Benji Kot, Sylvester Namo, Gilmor Paul, Solomon Pokare, Judah Rimbu, Jeffery Robert, Solo Wane and Samuel Yegip named to join the more experienced players.

Church said the squad was selected taking into account the way the side wanted to play this season.

“The suitability to the Hunters playing style and the introduction of some new game rules were major considerations when finalising the squad,” Church said.

The Hunters are expected to arrive in Queensland at the end of this month.

Papua New Guinea Hunters 2021 squad 

  1. Stanton Albert
  2. Ila Alu
  3. Keven Appo
  4. Jokedi Bire
  5. Ase Boas
  6. Norman Brown
  7. Casey Dickson
  8. Brendon Gotuno
  9. Edwin Ipape
  10. Joe Joshua
  11. Epel Kapinias
  12. Benji Kot
  13. Enock Maki
  14. Sylvester Namo
  15. Brendan Nima
  16. Stanley Olo
  17. Gilmor Paul
  18. Mark Piti
  19. Solomon Pokare
  20. Wartovo Puara Junior
  21. Junior Rau
  22. Judah Rimbu
  23. Jeffery Robert
  24. Junior Rop
  25. Charlie Simon
  26. Emmanuel Waine
  27. Solo Wane
  28. Terry Wapi
  29. Samuel Yegip