KUMUL hooker Wartovo Puara Junior is a good chance of snaring a contract with National Rugby League premiers South Sydney in 2015.
Puara has been listed in the Rabbitohs top 31 players and is competing with Cameron McInnes for the back up hooking role to New Zealand international Issac Luke.
The 24-year-old, who is halfway through a six-week trial and train arrangement with Souths along with Kumuls teammate Thompson Teteh, said he had learned a lot in the time he had spent with one of the league’s oldest and most successful clubs.
“We’ve been here for three weeks now and even though the training is harder than what we had at the Hunters we are catching up,” Puara said of his experience under coach Michael Maguire and the Rabbitohs staff.
The coach (Maguire) and the trainers have been really helpful and we are training well with the players in the first grade squad.
“I have been trying to get used to the calls and it’s been about catching up and getting to know their (Souths) system.”
Puara said he had not been spoken to about his contract or the success of his stint yet but he would definitely take up any offer the club put on the table to play on in 2015.
“I don’t know yet if me and Thompson will stay or go back home. They (management) have not said anything to us. If they ask me to stay, I will definitely do that.”
Puara, who was last year named the Hunters Player of the Year, was one of the standouts for the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored franchise.
Puara and Teteh featured in the Resident Kumuls side that played the Rabbitohs in a preseason fixture in February, 2013.
The East New Briton said he would be equally happy to return to the SP Hunters for the 2015 Queensland Cup season if he was not given a contract with Souths.
“If I don’t get a contract, I’ll be happy to come back home and play with the Hunters. I’ve learned a lot in my time here so far and it has been a very good experience for us.”
Last year South Sydney used three players in the No.9 role. First choice, Luke, was suspended and/or injured on several occasions which saw Fijian Apisai Koroisau deputise admirably, while McInnes was used occassionally.
Koroisau left Souths last year to join the Penrith Panthers which leaves Maguire only one backup specialist hooker in McInnes.
Souths are scheduled to play in next month’s Auckland Nines as well as several trial matches before the NRL season kicks off on March 5 with the Rabbitohs playing the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
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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