By HUXLEY LOVAI
KUMUL captain David Mead has the told the media that spirits in the camp were high, with the playing group bonding well over the past few days.
With the bulk of the team being retained from this year’s Pacific rugby league test against Cook Islands the confidence and positive atmosphere in the camp has helped settle in new faces and familiar ones.
“There’s no doubt that we have always had a good bond here at the PNG camp. Team bonding has been really good, we came into the first day of camp and everyone seems to know each other really well, we are just joking around and having fun,” Mead said.
“Whether its guys who are making their debut or the senior experienced players. Every person who walks into the camp feels welcomed, and at home,” the 28-year-old who is set to play at his third World Cup, said.
Mead commanded the outstanding season of the SP PNG Hunters team, whose players form the bulk of to the World Cup squad, contributing 10 players.
“The majority of the squad are from the Hunters, who are the premiers of the Intrust Super Cup. The standard of our game is a lot more professional now. The players know how to look after their bodies and they are mentally tougher now.
“This maybe one of the best squads we ever had, it’s just a matter of us preparing well at training, and building up combinations during the Tri-Series in Fiji.”
Mead also spoke on the controversial selection of James Segeyaro. The Cronulla Sharks hooker who has been the subject of derision from sections of the PNG public following statements made by him that he would never represent the country.
Mead stated that overall the Kumuls were a stronger team with the inclusion of the talented 26-year-old.
“James brings with him a lot of experience. He’s helping our middle with their defence and attack. He’s a quality player and a Dally M hooker of the year in 2014.
“There’s no doubt that James has a lot of ability that he brings to the Kumuls, and I look forward to playing alongside him.”
Looking ahead to their World Cup campaign with the opening match against Wales on Oct 28 at the National Football Stadium, Mead said it was important that the team stayed focused on the job at hand.
“Our goal is to make it past the pool stages, but in saying that we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.
“We will take each game as it comes, every game that we play will be tough for us. We respect our opponents, all we have to do is prepare well and go out there and perform.”
By HUXLEY LOVAI