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Morea Morea.

Morea Morea knew two things heading into pre-season with the PNG Hunters – that he was living out his childhood dream and that it was not going to be easy.

The 22-year-old, who will make his Hostplus Cup debut this Sunday at fullback, earned the call up to the Hunters this year from Central Dabaris in the Digicel Cup.

And he is ready to go to that next level in 2023.

“Joining the Hunters squad means a lot to me,” Morea said.

“Not only did it pay for the work I put in, but it was my dream growing up. I have always dreamt of representing my country like my fellow countrymen have done proudly, and now I have my own chance to do that and I'm so honoured.

“It's pretty unreal for me and my family as well.

“My first impression since joining was that I was pretty happy, but I knew it would take a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

“I knew pre-season would be tough but I didn't matter to me at all. I was ready to go through it all.”

Morea Morea.
Morea Morea.

Morea grew up in a small coastal village called Papa in Hiri West in the Central Province. He started playing rugby league at the age of 13 in a small competition.

As he prepares for his debut against the Western Clydesdales, he knows he is representing his family and his home village.

“It was a pretty small competition consisting of only four clubs, each having three grades which were A, B and C grades,” Morea said of his childhood league.

“I was playing in C grade and my club was called the Diho Broncos. When I was 16, I was already playing A grade and the next year, I played for our village team called Koita Cowboys, which was our big team so everyone at the village dreams of making that team.

“I started playing outside of the village and eventually Dabaris got me into their program.

“I grew up around rugby league. In our village everyone is fond of rugby league and we love it. We were also very good at it.

“I always dedicate my games to my family. They have been there for me and they support me in anyway they can, not only in rugby league but in life as well. I play for them to appreciate them.

“Also growing up in a Christian community, I've always believed that God gave me this talent to play rugby league so I also play to honour him. I also play for my village because that's where it all started for me.”

Morea, whose idol growing up was Queensland Maroons legend Darren Lockyer, is one of a number of Digicel Cup players who have been promoted to the Hunters in 2023, alongside Siki Konden, Julius Yakopa and Tom Moide.

Prop Epel Kapinias will also return in 2023 after a season with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

Under new coach Stanley Tepend, the Hunters are hoping to push for finals for the first time sine 2018.

But for Morea, the first goal is to really cement his place in the team, not just on the field, but off it too with his teammates.

“I think all the senior boys have been really helpful to me in pre-season, especially Ila Alu,” Morea said.

“He actually didn't talk to me personally of what to expect in pre-season, but just his energy and leadership in training just somehow pushes me through it.

“One person who really encourages me is Tommy Moide. He's been to a couple of pre-seasons so he knows what to expect and he talks to me before every training and encourages me not to give up.

“My goals in 2023 are to be there for my teammates, both on and off the field. I want to earn their respect.

“I guess I'm just going to do my job to the best of my ability and help the team move forward.”

PNG Hunters 2023 gains and losses


Koso Badi (Digicel Cup), Junior Igila (Digicel Cup), Epel Kapinias (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Siki Konden (Digicel Cup), Joshua Mire (Digicel Cup), Tom Moide (Digicel Cup), Morea Morea (Digicel Cup), Saki Peter (Digicel Cup), Doa Tapako (Digicel Cup), Trevor ‘Tapia’ Solu (Digicel Cup), Sanny Wabo (Digicel Cup), Henry Wan (Digicel Cup), Julius Yakopa (Digicel Cup)


Keven Appo (Bradford Bulls), Kitron Laka (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Wartovo Puara (Sepik Pride), Emmanuel Waine (London Broncos), Samuel Yegip (Central Queensland Capras)

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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