MAL Meninga will coach the Kumuls and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII this year.
The former Queensland and Australian rugby league great, who has been associated with national team since the beginning of last year, will take the reins of the national sides despite having minimal involvement with the country’s main top tier competition, the Digicel Cup and the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup.
PNG Rugby Football league chief executive officer Brad Tassell said the 54-year-old was always going to be the coach of the national teams.
“Mal (Meninga) is head of the Team Kumul programme and therefore it stands to reason that he will coach the Kumuls and PM’s XIII. We made that announcement early in the year and nothing has changed,” Tassell said yesterday.
Tassell said he and PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka were bemused by yesterday’s story in The National that said Kumuls assistant coach to last year’s World Cup in England, Michael Marum, was the prime candidate for the job.
“Mal will coach the teams (PM’s XIII and Kumuls), that has always been the plan. Michael (Marum) will be his assistant,” Tassell said.
The rugby league representative calendar consists of two matches, the Prime Ministers’ XIII clash on October 12 followed by a one-off test match against Tonga.
Tassell said other local coaches and trainers would be given the opportunity to coach representative sides.
“We’ll have coaches and trainers from the top four Digicel Cup teams given positions in the representative sides.”
The representative sides are the PM’s XIII, Digicel All Stars and the National Zone All Stars sides who will feature on Oct 12.
Tassell said an official announcement would be made by the PNGRFL on Meninga and the teams later this month.
“We’ll have all that information by the end of the month. Right now we’re contacting our overseas based players and finding out who is available and who’s not for the two matches. We’ve got the National Zones championship that takes place later this month so once that is all done the teams will be announced,” Tassell said.
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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