By JACK AMI
TWO sets of brothers, the Boas and Alberts, will create history for Papua New Guinea rugby league at the 2017 World Cup.
The Boas brothers, Ase, 28, and Watson, 23, and Wellington, 23 and Stanton Albert, 22, were named in coach Michael Marum’s side last Wednesday in Port Moresby.
Although PNG has had a set of brothers represent them in a test — the Albert and Martin brothers (Rhyse and Tyson) in 2015 — this is the first time for two sets of brothers to be named in a PNG squad for a World Cup.
Other brothers to have represented the country at different times were the Kouoru’s Haoda, Gideon and Joshua and the Krewantys – Arnold and Alex.
Ase and Wellington are premiership-winning co-captains for the Hunters with their brothers also part of the Q-Cup side.
The Boas brothers of mixed East New Britain, Simbu and Oro parentage developed a solid halves combination during the 2017 Q-Cup season while the Albert brothers played in the front row of the SP-sponsored side in the Q-Cup grand final as well as the interstate championship match.
The Alberts of Mendi, Southern Highlands, were earmarked early on as potential Kumul with Wellington having made the Kumuls 2013 World Cup squad as a 19-year-old while Stanton represented the Junior Kumuls at Glasgow Commonwealth Games rugby league nines tournament in 2014.
The Boas brothers told The National that they were looking forward for the World Cup and playing together in the halves and were hoping to carry on their Q-Cup and May test form.
Ase recalled that at the 2013 World Cup he did not get as many opportunities but he now had a leadership position and would be the side’s goal kicker and leading playmaker so he would be looking to make every post a winner.
“This is a bigger arena for me and fortunately I have my little brother Watson alongside me and we’ve got to lead the side like we did with the Hunters,” Boas said.
“It’s all good. We’ve played together since we were kids so now it’s on the big stage.”
Watson said he was excited at the prospect of playing at his first World Cup and to do it with his brother next to him was special.
Coach Michael Marum said picking both sets of brothers for the Kumuls was easy as he had seen their progress and development over the last four years and he knew that each one had earned their place.
By JACK AMI