TELIKOM PNG Kumuls and Gold Coast Titans winger David Mead is looking at putting in 100% effort in tomorrow’s Telikom Place of Origin selection clash in Mt Hagen to retain his spot in the Kumuls squad for the SP Brewery Pacific Cup.
In an interview yesterday with The National at the Jackson Airport before jetting off to Mt Hagen with the rest of the members of the Kumuls side, Mead admitted it would be very tough contest as players from both side of the camp, who would be equally pushing their claims to represent PNG.
He agreed that the Rait Prepaid Telikom Resident Kumuls were a tough outfit beefed up by the inclusion of Charlie Wabo, Menzie Yere and local stars Elizah Riyong, Ham Tee, Anton Kui and Larsen Marape.
Mead said he had spoken to his backline not to give room to the fast finishing Residents outside backs because it might cost the International side dearly at the Kagamuga Showground.
The Titans’ speed sensation said it would be a tough match and all the players were expecting it to be such following their training together during the week.“We have a lot of respect for our resident colleagues and are not taking anything for granted,” Mead said.
The 20-year-old winger, whose mother hails from Tubusereia in Central province and an Australia father, has two more years left to play with the Titans.
He said he was proud to play for PNG and represent his country and family, who were always behind him every weekend in the NRL competition.
Meanwhile, International Kumuls coach Jim Wilson said Keith Peters and John Wilshire would run the halves, while Mead would be slotted into fullback tomorrow.
Residents coach Mark Mom said the local boys would be exhibiting some of the new technical and strategic skills tomorrow.
“Hopefully, it will come together on the field and make the selection chances for the boys better,” Mom said.
He said the Telikom Kumuls were not intimidated by the teams announced by some of the Pacific Island countries, who would be contesting the Pacific Cup later this month.
“The Kumuls will be focusing on their preparations for tomorrow’s Origin clash.
The players want to be in the national team to play in the Pacific Cup and because the challenge will be played in PNG, the boys are all focused on claiming the Pacific Cup in front of the home crowd.
The PNG Residents: Emmanuel Uki, Ham Tee, Larsen Marabe, Jessie Joe Parker, Elizah Riyong, Dion Aiye, Mai Tom, Rodney Pora, Charlie Wabo (capt), Simon Young, George Moni, Sigfred Gande, Glen Nami, Kerry Tapako, Benjamin John, Anton Kui, Menzie Yere and Francis Ray.
The PNG Internationals: David Mead, Joe Bond, Tu’u Maori, Andrew Rickertt, Richard Kambo, John Wilshere (capt), Keith Peters, Jason Chan, Jay Ashton, James Nightingale, Tyson Martin, Jack Cooper, Rod Griffin, Tom Butterfield, Merv O’flanagan, Ryan Tongia, Kevin Prior and Anthony Cheng.