PENRITH Panthers-bound Wellington Albert is maintaining his fitness levels with PNG’s Queensland Cup team Hunters.
The rangy Southern Highlanders said he has been advised by his player/manager Steve Deacon that he could be travelling anytime in the next two weeks.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) CEO Brad Tassell will confirm his travel details.
After spending Christmas and New Year with family in Mendi town, Albert re-joined the Hunters training camp on Friday at the Bomana Police College in Port Moresby.
Albert was taking a break in between the morning and afternoon training session on Saturday, when The National caught up with him.
The Kumul debutant at last year’s World Cup in England said the Panthers are well into their pre-season training and is thankful for the Hunters allowing him to train with them until he leaves.
Albert will join the Panthers Under 20 team that will take part in the Holden Cup competition. With the Panthers winning the premiership last season with a 42-30 win over the New Zealand Warriors, the PNG schoolboy prodigy knows he has a huge job ahead of him.
“Maintaining a high fitness level is important as I don’t want to be the odd one out when I eventually fly across,” he added.
Albert said family, friends, former Giluwe Tigers teammates including fellow Kumul Larsen Marape were invited for a huge farewell for him in Mendi on New Year’s day.
“Lots of words of encouragement from my tribesmen and everybody…don’t drink alcohol, maintain discipline and I appreciate everything,” he added.
He said the team he will be joining also has another promising PNG talent in Wari Varage Junior, who originally went down on a Adrian Lam foundation scholarship with the Sydney Roosters.
Albert also confirmed that his aim is to make the starting 17 but like all other Under-20 players as advised by Panthers CEO Phil Gould, if they do well mid-season they could get a call-up to the National Rugby League.
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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