Yesterday, a media tour organised by PNG Rugby League (PNGRFL) and senior PNG LNG Kumuls coaching staff was a first of its kind experience for local journalists and photographers.
One of the coaching staff and Lae Snax Tigers coach Stanley Tepend and former Kumuls player and one of PNG’s rugby league icons John Wilshere were present to coordinate the tour.
The Gateway Hotel is home to the Kumuls training, administrative and accommodation offering a state-of-the-art facilities as a lead-up preparation for the national rugby league team.
“All lead up preparation for the Kumuls leading into the 2017 Rugby League World Cup is being housed here at Gateway Hotel. We are pleased with the hotel management, including other corporate sponsors for their support,” said Tepend when briefing media personnel during the tour.
The inclusion of former Kumuls John Wilshere and Marcus Bai is also another positive boost for the national team with the duo adding their representative and rugby league experience into the team’s preparations.
“It is a busy schedule for the players, training and commitments to the communities, media and it is a big job we are trying to manage,” said Wilshere.
“The core of the coaching staff including former Kumuls players we think it is extremely important. We are prepared for international tournaments like the Rugby League World Cup.”
Wilshere reiterated that they (former Kumuls players) have had big game experiences. It will be good to have them in camp so that can impart their knowledge and experience to prepare for big games,
“Every World Cup is different and the difference is that we (PNG) are hosting three pool matches,” he said.
Wilshere and Bai also said the heavy loss against Wales will not be a pressing concern for the national team, adding lead-up preparation look positive.
“Coming back home and playing for PNG, we are always confident and it is not a fluke that the boys have performed in Fiji, the performance of PNG SP Hunters under coach Michael Marum and now overseas-based players is a boost for us, ex-players who are now part of the coaching staff,” former Kumul, Melbourne Storm and English Super League player Bai said.
“If you are real men to do it in front of the home crowd then this is the challenge from us the coaching staff and everybody in the villages of PNG to see these boys perform,” reiterated Bai when giving comments on how confident he is in terms of Kumuls hosting the three 2017 Rugby League World Cup pool matches.
PNG LNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum and captain David Mead will leave for Brisbane for a captain and coaches tournament media launch in Brisbane.
Meanwhile, the full PNG LNG team is in full camp in preparation for the first 2017 Rugby League World Cup pool C match with Wales on Saturday October 28 at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. Post Courier