QUEENSLAND Cup Player of the Year Luke Page has been named in the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII squad for the October 12 match against Australia.
The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League announced their PM’s XIII 21-man squad yesterday, which was signed off by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, before being released in line with protocol for the 10th anniversary of the annual fixture.
Page plays for the Souths Logan Magpies.
The 23-year-old prop is joined by three other overseas-based players, Wellington Albert, Rhys Martin and Mark Mexico.
Page is contracted to the Canberra Raiders and previously played for the Gold Coast Titans Under-20s in 2010.
Page, who stands 186-centimetres and weights 110-kilograms, will add size to the PNG side and will join the squad in Kokopo, East New Britain, once visa requirements are met.
The squad features brothers Wellington and Stanton Albert.
Wellington’s involvement will depend on clearance from his surgeon which is expected next Tuesday.
Mexico, who played most of the season for the Cronulla Sharks feeder club in the NSW Cup competition, will join the squad on Sunday.
Rhys Martin – currently in the Sydney Roosters top 25 player list – will finish his senior club commitments before joining the squad.
James Segeyaro (Penrith Panthers), Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys), Nene McDonald (Sydney Roosters) and Jayden Hodges (Manly Sea Eagles) are unavailable for selection, while South Sydney winger Alex Johnston is unavailable and likely to line up for Australia in the PM13 clash.
David Mead (Gold Coast Titans) and Rod Griffin (Ipswich Jets) are unavailable due to both getting married next month.
Coach Mal Meninga said he was confident in the squad, which was finalised in consultation with selectors and assistant coach and Hunters mentor Michael Marum.
“It was a difficult and long process trying to work through which overseas players were available and as it is not a World Cup year it is difficult to secure the services of them due to eligibility guidelines, club commitments and injuries,” Meninga said.
“Having said that, we are excited about the young talent available and the pathway that has been created in PNG.
“The selection focus was on combinations and youth and the best group of players playing at the highest level possible,” he current Queensland Origin coach said.
“Luke Page was a welcome addition. He is only 23, big, strong, aggressive and I know the Raiders have a big wrap on him.
“He is really excited about playing so we are pleased to have him.
“We are in a rebuilding phase and we have to start now.”
PNG PM’ XIII: Dion Aiye, Luke Page, Wellington Albert, Sebastian Pandia, Stanton Albert, Brandy Peter, Israel Eliab, Wartovo Puara Jr, Adam Korave, Esau Siune, Roger Laka, Jason Tali, Gary Lo, Thompson Tete, Timothy Lomai, Lawrence Tu’u, Rhys Martin, Adex Wera, Mark Mexico, Noel Zeming, Willie Minoga, Edward Goma.
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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