QUEENSLAND Maroons coach Wayne Bennett has named Papua New Guinea international Xavier Coates on the wing for Wednesday’s State of Origin series opener at the Adelaide Oval.
The 19-year-old was yesterday named in the 21-man squad which includes 11 players who are also yet to play Origin football.
They are AJ Brinsom, Brenko Lee, Phillip Sami, Jake Friend, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Lindsay Collins, Jaydn Su’A, Kurt Capewell, Moeaki Fotuaika, Dunamis Lui and Hymel Hunt.
“It’s pretty tough to believe it, after everything that’s happened this year, but I’m absolutely stoked to be here, the boys have been so welcoming and we’ve bonded really well,” Coates said.
“Not at all (did I expect the call-up); I had planned a holiday and they gave me fitness programmes, so I wasn’t slacking off but I never expected to be picked at all.”
Coates was born in Port Moresby and played a solitary Test for PNG last year.
His pace and athleticism was a breath of fresh air in Brisbane’s historic wooden spoon season, reminding some of the man Coates said was “pretty much everyone’s Origin hero”.
Story by Hilda Wayne
Papua New Guinean rugby league player Elsie Albert has made history by becoming the first homegrown PNG export to be recruited by an Australian NRL women's club, the Illawarra Dragons.
The 24-year-old, who is also the captain of the PNG national side, the Orchids, told the ABC she had more than one club wanting to sign her.
After months of COVID-19 uncertainty, the 2020 NRLW seasons begins this weekend and Elsie has joined the rest of the Dragons squad for the very first time.
"I'm just humbled, and I'm just excited that I get this opportunity to play in the NRLW," she said.
PAPUA New Guinea flyer David Mead is determined to prolong his rugby league career beyond this season despite entering the final few months of his contract with English Super League side Catalans.
The 31-year-old back has made 51 appearances across three seasons for the Dragons, helping them win the Challenge Cup in 2018.
Though he is open to offers from Super League and Australia’s National Rugby League, a stay in Perpignan, France, is the preferred option at this stage for the Tubusereia native.
THE country has lost one of its most colourful rugby league personalities following the death of former Papua New Guinea Kumuls captain Bal Numapo, says Sports Vice-Minister Wesley Raminai.
On behalf of the Government, the Kagua-Erave MP paid tribute to the 57-year-old, who he described as a gentleman and an easy person to speak with because of his humility.
“My deepest condolences to the family of the late Numapo,” Raminai said from his hospital bed in Port Moresby yesterday.
He is recovering from a vehicle accident which happened on the Okuk Highway on July 23 while returning to the nation’s capital from an electoral visit.
XAVIER Coates’ speed and aerial antics would be booster for Papua New Guinea in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup says Townsville Blackhawks and Kumul five eight Kyle Laybutt.
Laybutt made the comment after the 19-year old PNG born Brisbane winger dethroned Melbourne Storm’s Josh Addo-Carr as the fastest player in the National Rugby League according to Telstra Tracker data.
The Kumul number 289, Coates clocked 36.9km/h when he latched onto an intercept pass and ran the length of the field to score the Broncos' only try in the 27-6 loss against Newcastle last week.
BRISBANE winger Xavier Coates has dethroned Josh Addo-Carr as the fastest player in the NRL, hitting a new season-high speed in Thursday night’s 6-27 loss to Newcastle.
According to Telstra Tracker data, the 19-year-old winger clocked 36.9km/h when he latched onto an intercept pass and ran the length of the field to score the Broncos’ only try.
PAPUA New Guinea and Doncaster halfback Watson Boas says he fears lacking match fitness for the Kumuls’ end-of-year Oceania Cup fixtures with a return to the United Kingdom (UK) still pending.
The UK third-tier club had granted compassionate leave for the 25-year-old to return home due to family commitments early this year.
And with the indefinite suspension of the competition, former Rabaul Gurias star Boas continues train on his own while waiting for advice from Doncaster.
He told The National yesterday that the club had not given him clearance to play for the Gurias.
RUGBY league legend Andrew Johns has praised Broncos youngster Xavier Coates, comparing the Papua New Guinea Kumuls squad member to multi-sport athlete and former Brisbane winger Israel Folau.
The Broncos and Sea Eagles played out a thrilling clash last Thursday which Des Hasler’s men eventually ran home with 20-18 in a second-half comeback.
A breath of fresh air for Brisbane, Coates proved a massive headache for Manly with his athletic abilities on display on the right edge.
NRL fans had seen glimpses of the 19-year-old last year but this time around, 194cm Coates was easily Brisbane’s most dangerous player in attack.
The Chairman of the PNG Rugby Football League Sandis Tsaka was re-elected on Saturday during the 7th PNGRFL Annual General Meeting.
The AGM was held at Bluff Inn Motel outside Port Moresby attended by all 16 affiliated leagues.
The PNGRFL has been working with its partners in the sport and the country’s national authorities to chart a way forward to implement a revised 2020 program for rugby league post the COVID 19 and the State of Emergency.
The PNGRFL met with Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, Team Leader - COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force on behalf of the S.O.E Controller, Commander David Manning, last week to present its revised plans for 2020 and the PNGRFL public health guidelines that provide the framework for PNGRFL’s “New Normal” for rugby league in PNG.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36