marum-sets-team

World Cup squad to be named

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PAPUA New Guinea Kumuls coach Michael Marum is expected to name his World Cup squad tomorrow in Port Moresby with all available NRL talent under consideration.
Speaking after returning from Sydney with his SP Hunters squad, Marum said he was looking to include players such as Cronulla’s James Segeyaro and South Sydney’s Alex Johnston in the squad.
Marum said he and his staff would be looking at all the talent as well as the number of players per position he would consider.
“We’re looking at everyone who is available for us. We’ll have a selection meeting tomorrow (today) and confirm the names for Wednesday’s announcement,” Marum said.
“We’ve been keeping track of players like James (Segeyaro) and Alex (Johnston) and all that news will be made at the announcement.”
Marum said that the Kumuls squad would be picked with certain numbers in each position and some players would invariably miss out.
“We can’t pick every good player just because they’ve performed. We have to look at the number of fullbacks in a squad, the number of centres, halfbacks and so on,” Marum, pictured, said.
Of the NSW-based NRL talent, Marum said Canterbury duo Rhyse Martin and Rod Griffin as well as Canberra’s Kato Ottio and Kurt Baptiste, are all expected to be named in the squad.
A good number of spots are expected to be filled by Hunters players.
An outside chance for selection is Sydney Roosters Under-20s halfback Lachlan Lam while North Queensland’s Ray Thompson, Kyle Laybutt and Gideon Gela Mosby have all been mentioned during the year.
Marum said Laybutt and Gela Mosby’s eligibility would have to be confirmed.
Thompson, who is set to retire at the end of the year, is hoping to make the squad. He last played for the Kumuls in the 2015 Pacific test against Fiji on the Gold Coast.
Marum said the selectors would also consider players in the English Super League.
“We’ll look at one or two guys in England. Paul Aiton is one of them. It’s going to be tough but we’ll see how it goes.”
When asked about Castleford Tigers new signing Gary Lo, Marum said the exciting winger had not played a Super League match yet and the selection policy for players in England was to look at the top competition only.
In other World Cup news, Australia Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga will name his squad today as will the France while Italy names their squad tomorrow and New Zealand on Thursday.
Fiji names their squad on Saturday.
Tonga, Samoa and Lebanon will confirm their teams after the announcement of Australia and New Zealand sides as some of their players have dual eligibility.
Under international Rugby League eligibility rules, players who qualify for more than one country can play for a tier-two nation if they are not chosen by one of the three tier-one nations.
To be eligible, a player must have been born in the nation he represents or qualifies if he had parents or grandparents born there, or has been a resident of that country for 60 months.
Fiji coach Mick Potter will choose his squad after the Battle of the Bati in Suva on Saturday.
The match will feature the Fiji Residents and an Overseas Fiji Bati team to be coached by former World Cup representatives Wes Naiqama and Daryl Millard. Another former Fiji international Joe Dakuitoga is coach of the Residents team.
Wayne Bennett’s England squad will be announced Oct 9 following the Super League grand final.
Wales coach John Kear and Scotland’s Steve McCormack are set to confirm their squads on Oct 10.
No changes will be permitted after 13 October, when the final squads for the tournament are due to be officially announced by World Cup organisers.

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