Local rugby league stars make changes to names

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The National, Wednesday October 2nd, 2013

 WE may know them by face and by the way they play but recently some of our rugby league stars have opted to tweak their names, be it in spelling, the addition of a middle name or a complete change of a surname altogether. 

Digicel Cup captains Larsen Marape (pictured right) of the Port Moresby Vipers, Nicko Slain Ubile (centre) of the Goroka Lahanis and Whitehaven (UK) centre Jesse Joe Nandye (far right)indicated recently they have altered their names. 

Larsen said in the lead up to the Digicel Cup grand final that the correct spelling of his surname was “Marape” and not “Marabe”. 

He said his name had been continuously misspelt by fans, teams and the media since 2008. 

The 29-year-old is the brother of Finance Minister and Tari-Pori MP James Marape. 

“It’s not a big difference P or B it doesn’t matter, but my real surname is spelled with a P,” Marape said. 

“I don’t really mind but the media has been spelling and pronouncing my name like this for a while now.”

When Nicko was first picked for the Kumuls five years ago, he used “Slain” as his surname name and continued to use the name during his stint with the Hunslet Hawks in the UK second division in 2009 but changed it to Ubile on his return home later that year. 

“Slain is my big brother’s surname. Now I just want to use his name as a middle name,” Ubile said. 

The 31-year-old said he took his elder sibling’s name as a mark of respect.

Jesse Joe has had “Parker” as his surname name since the last rugby league World Cup in 2008 but has now opted to use his grandfather’s name Nandye. 

The centre/five-eighth said the change was brought about inadvertently after returning from England in August. 

“My dad was helping me renew my passport when I got back and he put down Nandye as my last name instead of Parker. It’s my grandfather’s name,” Nandye said.

Marape and Nandye have been named in the Kumuls squad for the World Cup that starts on Oct 26.

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