PNG Hunters and Kumul prop Michael Mexico will miss the first Intrust Super Cup trial rugby league match against the Northern Pride at Barlow Park, Cairns this Sunday.
Hunters coach Michael Marum yesterday confirmed the unavailability of one of his key go-forward men as they complete the final stages of their three-month pre-season build-up at Bomana Police College in Port Moresby.
Marum said his firebrand recruit is heading down to Brisbane for a minor knee clean-up operation that will see Mexico out for at least four weeks depending on the outcome.
“He will fly across to Cairns on Saturday to join the team as well,” he added.
Marum said it is unfortunate but an opportune time to get Mexico prepared for the grueling season ahead of their opening match against competition heavyweights Redcliffe Dolphins on March 2.
“Apart from that all our 22 players in camp are looking forward to their first hit-out to get that first knock out of the system,” Marum said.
Marum said he would not clarify who would be starting but only said that all players would get a run as the match will be played in quarters.
“Players will be tried out in different positions and combinations, so the onus is on them to prove they want that position or not,” he added.
He said they have three hookers in the mix with Eliab Puara Jnr, Lawrence Tu’u and Noel John, while in the halves Israel Eliab, Roger Laka and Noel Zemming are also vying for spots.
“Everyone is looking sharp at training, strength and fitness has picked up in the eight weeks, so it will be interesting how they perform,” he added.
In terms of leading the team, he said they have several players in mind but was not in a position to confirm who it was. The players had a day-off yesterday and will resume this morning with strength training in the gym at 10am and then have a field session at 4pm.
The Hunters will remain in Cairns until Wednesday when they head to Rockhampton for their second trial against Central Queensland Capras on February 15. The team flies out at 8.30am on Saturday. The National
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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