PNG names 4 Nations rugby league squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

PNG names 4 Nations rugby league squad

11/10/2010 09:06:14 PM Comments (0)

Papua New Guinea have named their Four Nations rugby league squad, with in-fighting contributing to the absence of several Australian-based players.

The PNG league board is currently in turmoil, with one of their favourite sons Adrian Lam quitting as coach a couple of weeks ago as a result of the bitter managerial battles.

Now several players with NRL, NSW Cup or Queensland Cup experience have been left out or opted not to be part of their 24-man squad to take on Australia, New Zealand and England, as a direct result of the board's preference for local players from PNG.

Former Penrith first grader Keith Peters, established NSW Cup players James Nightingale and Tu'u Maori and Queensland Cup regulars Jay Aston and Joe Bond appear to have fallen victim to board-related issues.

Twelve players, or half the squad, are from local PNG teams.

Cronulla hooker Paul Aiton is the only NRL player in the squad and he will captain the side, while Kumuls legend Stanley Gene has taken over as coach.

Gold Coast Toyota Cup player Ryan Tongia has been named, while Titans speedster David Mead was unavailable for selection through injury.

The rest of the squad are made up from a combination of lower grade players from England, NSW and Qld Cup players, one player from the Bundaberg Rum Cup in Sydney, another from country rugby league side the Parkes Spacemen and another who has rugby sevens experience for PNG.

The Kumuls have begun their preparations in Ipswich ahead of their Four Nations opener against the Kangaroos on October 24.

Papua New Guinea squad:

Ryan Tongia, Michael Mark, Jessy Joe Parker, Larsen Marabe, Elijah Riyong, Dion Aiye, Benjamin John, George Moni, Paul Aiton (C), Rodney Pora, Rodney Griffin, Sigfred Gande, Glen Nami, Pidi Tongap, Joseph Pombo, Nickson Kolo, Johnson Kuike, Makali Aizue, Emmanuel Yere, David Loko, Charlie Wabo, Richard Kembo, Desmond Mok, Alex Haija.

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