Marum hoping Macdonald resumes his NRL career ahead of World Cup
By PARKER TAMBUA
KUMULS coach Michael Marum says he hopes to see former North Queensland Cowboy Nene Macdonald back in the national team for next year’s Rugby League World Cup in England.
The 26-year-old has not played rugby league in more than 10 months following his release from the National Rugby League (NRL) club last July after his involvement in a traffic incident on Magnetic Island off Townsville.
But Marum told The National on Sunday that the 192cm, 108kg back’s representative contributions had seen him become an integral part of the Kumuls squad, regardless of his time away from the game.
“Nene has been in contact with our Kumuls coaching staff and I’m hopeful he will join an NRL side sooner rather than later,” Former SP Hunters coach Marum said.
“If he is successful in registering with the NRL, then he will be eligible for international matches from this year.
“We’re hoping he gets himself sorted soon so he can resume his football career as he has played a big part in our recent successes.
“It will be great to have him back in the red, black and gold jersey.”
Last week, Port Moresby-born Macdonald — who has so far played nine tests for Papua New Guinea — took to social media to express his desire for a return to rugby league.
“Missing footy too much and putting on that Kumuls jersey,” said the Kairuku (Central) native, who also had stints with the Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL.
“I’m staying fit and ready to go when they need me.”
Macdonald, who was recovering from a season-ending ankle injury at the time of his Cowboys release, last played for the Kumuls in an invitational series against the England Knights in Papua New Guinea two years ago.