THE Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s 13 started training yesterday at the National Football Stadium’s oval two in Port Moresby.
Coach Michael Marum confirmed there would be no last-minute inclusions in the side despite the unavailability of David Mead, Nene Macdonald, Rhyse Martin and Ray Thompson in the side named last week.
With seven PNG SP Hunters in the side plus Townsville’s Willie Minoga, the remainder of the 21-member squad are made up of Digicel Cup talent plus two confederate players.
The team went through physical sessions with trainer Solomon Kuluniasi and former Kumul prop David Westley and have Wednesday off before training up to Friday.
Marum’s side is expected to find the going tough against the Australians who will be here on a mission.
PNGRFL chief executive officer Bob Cutmore said despite losing Mead and company, it would be a good oportunity for Marum to run a representative side against high quality opposition and this would ultimately add to their preparations for the 2017 World Cup.
“It’s going to be a chance for us to play against a test strength line up and we’ll give a chance to our digicel Cup and confederate players to get a taste of international,” Cutmore said.
Cutmore said he was expecting a sold out venue at the NFS on Saturday and encouraged fans to come and see NRL stars in action as well as cheer the home team on.
“It would be great it the fans came in numbers and packed the NFS and even better if they wore the national colours, the red, black and gold to show the Aussies what we’re about.”
Mal Meninga’s side arrive on Thursday afternoon and are scheduled for a morning session at the NFS the following morning.
Marum was aware of the new Australian attitude towards the annual fixture and said despite it being a friendly the intensity would be close to test standard.
PNG PM’s 13 (likely):
1. Bland Abavu
2. Butler Morris
3. Justin Olam
4. Pasu Awani
5. Anderson Benford
6. Ase Boas (C)
7. Wartovo Puara Jr
8. Willie Minoga
9. Noel Joel
10, Esau Siune
11. David Loko
12. Bernard Goma
13. Brandy Peter
14. Junior Rop
15. Radley Brawa
16. Ila Alu
17. Mafu Kalas
18. Kingston Paul
19. Yoks Bagave
20. Konnie Bernard
21. Peter Muka Kulu
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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