PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League has officially announced the PNG Kumuls team for next week’s May 2 Pacific Test match against Fiji Bati at the CBUS Stadium at Robina, Gold Coast.
The 18-member team is dominated by the SP PNG Hunters with nine players.
Three players who are contracted to NRL clubs – Nene MacDonald (Sydney Roosters) and Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys) and Luke Page (Canberra Raiders) have made the final team.
Home-groomed Albert brothers Wellington, who is contracted to NRL club, Penrith Panthers and currently playing with its NSW Cup side and Stanton with its Under 20 squad, have also made the final team.
The rest of the side comprises players from other Intrust Super Cup teams, which includes the two Martin brothers Tyson (Mackay Cutters) and Rhyse (Townsville Blackhawks), who have both played for PNG before.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka after receiving the final team from Kumuls coach Mal Meninga as a gesture of protocol had Minister For Sports Justin Tkatchenko endorse it.
“We respect the recent Cabinet decision that the use of the name Kumul will only be restricted to initiatives that have the endorsement of the Government, and we appreciate our national team retaining the Kumuls name,” Tsaka said.
“Therefore we believe it is only proper that PNGRFL shows its appreciation by having the Minister for Sports give his stamp of approval for the very first PNG Kumuls team that will play under these conditions.”
“This match also has great significance to us as it is being played during PNG’s 40th Anniversary and our team will be running out in a commemorative jersey honouring all our past Kumuls players.”
The FULL TEAM in alphabetical order is:
1. Josh Damen (Souths Logan Magpies),
2. Nene MacDonald (Sydney Roosters)
3. Thompson Teteh (SP PNG Hunters)
4. Kato Ottio (SP PNG Hunters)
5. Matt Trnka (Souths Logan Magpies)
6. Israel Eliab (c), (SP PNG Hunters)
7. Noel Zeming (SP PNG Hunters)
8. Stanton Albert (Penrith Panthers)
9. Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys)
10. Wellington Albert (Penrith Panthers)
11. Rhyse Martin (Townsville Blackhawks)
12. Tyson Martin (Mackay Cutters)
13. Luke Page (Canberra Raiders)
14. Wartovo Puara (SP PNG Hunters)
15. Willie Minoga (SP PNG Hunters)
16. Brandy Peter (SP PNG Hunters)
17. Adam Korave (SP PNG Hunters)
18. Lawrence Tu’u (SP PNG Hunters)