Aiton backs players


VETERAN Paul Aiton says it would be great to see the National Rugby League and Super League scouts pick up some PNG Hunters players in the Kumuls.
The 32-year-old said with 10 Hunters in the Kumuls squad, getting signed up or attracting interest from clubs in the NRL and the UK was a real possibility given the national side’s performance at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup so far.
Aiton, who plays for the Catalan Dragons in the Super League, said having more Papua New Guinea players in top tier competitions would only strengthen the Kumuls over the long term.
“It would definitely be wonderful for our boys. I’ve been saying it since I started playing with the Kumuls and I’ve pushed a few names and I think they just need a chance,” Aiton, who plays his 15th test for PNG on Sunday, said.
“A lot of these players could easily go over and play in the Super League and I think they just need that chance.
“Garry Lo has been over there and he’s played in the third tier competition and then went on to play in the second tier and now a Super League side — Castleford Tigers — have picked him up so that’s what he had to go through from the third division up to the first division.
“I think there are other quality players as well and they just need that chance and I’m really hopeful that this World Cup will showcase a few of our home grown players and I’d love to see them over there.
“I’d love to have them in my team (Catalan Dragons in the Super League) as well.
“So if any coaches are watching, take your chance because they’re all good players and they’re all good people.”