The Australian Rugby League Commission and the Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese MP have announced the Australian Men’s and Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII squads to take on PNG PM’s XIII teams at Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, on Saturday, September 23.
The Men’s Prime Minister’s XIII will include eight representatives from the 2022 World Cup winning Kangaroos squad, for the first Prime Minister’s XIII encounter in PNG since 2018.
The Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII has been selected with a view to giving some of the best up and coming players in the NRLW an opportunity alongside a number of established representative players including Kennedy Cherrington, Botille Vette-Welsh and Tallisha Harden.
“Being Prime Minister is a great honour. I enjoy every part of the job, but a fun part is getting to pick the PM’s XIII sides,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“These contests represent far more than just a couple of games of footy. Papua New Guinea and Australia are the closest of neighbours and we are the best of friends. We are working together to build a more prosperous, stable and peaceful region. Rugby League is an opportunity to celebrate our friendship and strengthen our partnership.
“I am really looking forward to Cam and Tallisha leading out their teams in Port Moresby, and know the contest will be great for the game, a thrill for all the players selected and another important step forward for our region.”
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM congratulated all players on their selection in a special team.
“These players have performed exceptionally well throughout the season and have earned the chance to wear the Green and Gold for Australia,” Mr V’landys said.
“I congratulate the players selected for both teams as to represent your country is the ultimate achievement. It’s also an inspiration for fans in Australia and of course the fans in PNG, where Rugby League means so much.”
Australian Men’s PM’s XIII Coach Mal Meninga said the match would provide a selection guide ahead of the first ever Pacific Championships, across October and November.
“This squad is a blend of experience from the World Cup last year, additional State of Origin players from this year, as well as younger players who we would like to see at this level,” Meninga said.
“There was fairly unanimous agreement across the selections and I can’t wait to see this group test themselves in the green and gold.”
Australian Women’s PM’s XIII Coach Brad Donald said the PM’s XIII would provide opportunities for the players to both further their representative aspirations as well as experience something quite unique.
“It’s a really well-balanced team featuring some of our First Nations Gems players, emerging talent in the NRLW competition and a handful of Jillaroos representatives who will be the key leaders,” Donald said.
The PM’s XIII concept is aimed at using rugby league to drive social awareness messages. This year’s event will also see the introduction of the Australian school boys and girls taking on our Junior Kumuls and Orchids respectively, with support from the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the NRL.
The 2023 Australian Men’s Prime Minister’s XIII is as follows (alphabetical order):
Josh Addo-Carr Bulldogs
Daly Cherry-Evans (VC) Sea Eagles
Reuben Cotter Cowboys
Tom Dearden Cowboys
Tino Fa’asuamaleaui Titans
Emre Guler Raiders
Ben Hunt Dragons
Nicho Hynes Sharks
Alofiana Khan-Pereira Titans
Zac Lomax Dragons
Cameron McInnes Sharks
Cameron Murray © Rabbitohs
Reece Robson Cowboys
Tyrell Sloan Dragons
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow Dolphins
Murray Taulagi Cowboys
Jake Trbojevic Sea Eagles
Cody Walker Rabbitohs
Hudson Young Raiders
The 2023 Australian Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII is as follows (alphabetical order):
Teagan Berry Dragons
Kennedy Cherrington (VC) Eels
Rueben Cherrington Eels
Abbi Church Eels
Keisha-Leigh Coolwell Broncos
Quincy Dodd Sharks
Kayla Fleming First Nations Gems
Tallisha Harden © Cowboys
Kimberley Hunt Eels
Emma Manzelmann Cowboys
Jasmin Morrissey First Nations Gems
Rachael Pearson Eels
Christian Pio Tigers
China Polata Cowboys
Tiana Raftstrand-Smith Cowboys
Taneka Todhunter Eels
Cassey Tohi-Hiku Eels
Botille Vette-Welsh Tigers
Jakiya Whitfeld Tigers
Janelle Williams Raiders