By PARKER TAMBUA
HELA Wigmen centre Stanford Talita has withdrawn from the SP Hunters less than a week after the Kumuls nines star was named in coach Matthew Church’s 30-man squad.
The 24-year-old was an integral part in the Wigmen’s fairytale run to last year’s Digicel Cup grand final, where they lost to eventual champions and minor premiers Lae Tigers.
“Stanford had to withdraw from the squad due to personal issues, which is a shame as I was looking forward to him taking the next step in his development,” Church said.
Talita was part of the Papua New Guinea squad for the Oceania Cup clash against Fiji and Great Britain Lions test but didn’t get to make his international debut.
But he made two appearances for the Kumuls against New Zealand and hosts Australia in October’s inaugural Rugby League World Cup Nines at the Bank West Stadium in Sydney.
This is the second time the 2019 Wigmen player of the year has withdrawn from the Hunters after he was named in the then coach Michael Marum’s 40-man train-on squad two years ago.
He was named in the squad after a solid performance in the 2017 Prime Minister’s 13 clash with Australia in which he scored a try in PNG’s 8-48 loss at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Talita will still play for the Wigmen in the upcoming Digicel Cup season.