Minga in French squad


PAPUA New Guinea-born outside back Kuni Minga has been named in an initial 32-strong French squad to for this year’s Rugby League World Cup in Australia, New Zealand and PNG.
The French Federation says the 24-year-old three-quarter qualifies on residency grounds, having spent the past three seasons with Toulouse, but it will need dispensation from the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) to play him after recent rule changes.
“The residency rule is five years dating back from the match-date in question. The French Rugby League has not attempted to clear the player yet and therefore he will not be permitted to play until cleared,” a RLIF spokesman said.
Minga played for the Simbu Lions in the Digicel Cup in 2013 and along with then teammate Rhadley Brawa were given an opportunity to play in France through the contacts of Lions franchise owner Gerard Phillip.
Minga, will be joined by his Toulouse teammates Bastien Ader, Clement Boyer, Bastien Canet and Stan Robin at a training camp organised by coach Aurelien Cologni from July 26-27 in Le Barcares.
Also named are London Broncos duo William Barthau and John Boudebza, while 17 of the 32 ply their trade in Super League, including 10 from Catalans Dragons, whose new coach Steve McNamara has already pledged his support to Cologni. “I met Aurelien who has explained his plans for the international team and his requirements,” said McNamara, who coached England from 2010-15 and briefly assisted New Zealand before taking up his new role in Perpignan.
“He’s spoken about the help and assistance he needs from the Catalans Dragons and – being a previous international coach – I understand the difficulties in that job.
“We’ll try and provide as much assistance as we can but, obviously, I’ll be trying to protect our own situation at the same time. It’s about cooperation between the two parties to try to find the balance.”
The 15th Rugby League World Cup will be held from Oct 26-Dec 2. – AAP

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