The Papua New Guinea Hunters are expected to provide the biggest contingent of players in the Kumuls Rugby League World Cup squad, which gets announced in Port Moresby today.
Head coach Michael Marum led the Hunters to their maiden Queensland Cup title 10 days ago before the PNG club were outclassed by Penrith in the NRL State Championship last weekend.
10 Hunters players featured in the Kumuls 32-22 victory over Cook Islands in the annual Pacific Rugby League Test in May, while centre Willie Minoga was selected in the initial squad before being ruled out through suspension.Marum is also expected to call on a handful of established NRL players such as Brisbane Broncos utility David Mead, Canberra Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste and Cronulla rake James Segeyaro.
He said the full squad will spend six days in camp in Port Moresby before travelling to Fiji for the international tri-series agains the Bati and World Champion Kangaroos.
"We'll have to work extra hard again in the next five-six weeks preparing for the national duty," he said.
"Thursday the World Cup squad gets back into camp so the players that are just finishing off a plane they'll be given time up.
"They'll still be in camp but just not basically doing any training or stuff like that so they're fresh enough again for anotherbig three games coming up".
Mr Marum said it was an exciting time for rugby league in Papua New Guinea, with the Kumuls World Cup pool matches against Wales, Ireland and the United States being played at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby from 28 October.
"To see us get this far and finish the season and also get the home games up there, three pool games, it's really good for the country and also rugby league the code back in PNG".
PNG are the first Pacific nation to announce their World Cup squad, with Tonga to follow suit on Thursday.
Source: Radio New Zealand
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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