Aston opens door for PNG players


SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston, who is also the Ireland’s coach, will keep the door open for Papua New Guinea players who wish to build their careers in Britain.
Visiting PNG for the first time during the rugby league World Cup, despite his side’s 14-6 loss to the PNG Kumuls, Aston said he would consider some of PNG’s home grown talent to play in the second tier Kingstone Press Championship.
Aston, who is also the chief executive officer of Sheffield Eagles, is fond of PNG players and has already provided opportunities for the likes of current Kumuls winger Garry Lo, former Kumuls Menzie Yere and Mark Mexico.
Obviously there are a lot of pathways for PNG’s league talent to follow through to the top level whether it’s NRL or Super League and with Aston’s offering, a sort of Garry Lo-type pathway is in the picture for PNG’s players.
“I always do welcome PNG players and I will look at some to pick up for Sheffield Eagles and give them that opportunity,” Aston said.
“I have got a real strong relationship with Menzie Yere and he’s been with me for 10 years after he signed up in 2008 and next year is his 10th year.
“He’s probably been one of the best centres for Sheffield and now Garry Lo is going to be something else no doubt about that.
“Garry will play with Castleford Tigers next year which is probably the best team in the Super League and he’s going to score tries and that’s what he does, we can proudly say that we helped him get there.
“I open the club’s doors to any PNG player who wants to come over.
“The nice thing is Menzie stayed in Sheffield and he won’t probably come back to PNG.
“He’s got a home, he’s got two wonderful kids and his wife and he is enjoying life over there and Garry is also going to try to make his career over there now and it’s going to be wonderful for him.
“I always have so much respect for those guys and now I’ve seen their home country which is beautiful.
“If there are some more guys who want to come, we will surely consider them.”