THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) says a new head coach for the SP Hunters will be named at the end of this month.
PNGRFL media and public relations manager Ephata Samuel told The National yesterday that the governing body had received “a number of applications from overseas-based candidates”.
The deadline for applications was yesterday as the 2017 Intrust Super Cup (ISC) premiers begin the process shortlisting potential candidates to succeed Michael Marum.
Marum will take up a role as coaching director of the PNG Kumuls and Hunters ahead of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
Samuel said the screening process, to be carried out by a three-man committee, would start today.
“The committee will include a human-resources specialist and will be independent of the PNGRFL,” he said.
“After the inaugural Rugby League World Cup in Sydney (on Friday and Saturday), the PNGRFL is scheduled to have its board meeting on Oct 24.
“That is when the committee will table its recommendations for the board to deliberate on before making a decision on who to appoint to the role as head coach.
“Apart from interest in the country, we’ve received a number of applications from overseas-based candidates, particularly from Australia,” Samuel added before stopping short of disclosing their names.
He said the Hunters would start pre-season training next month once the Kumuls had completed their international duties (Oceania Cup and British Lions tour).
Regardless of whoever is appointed, this will be the first time since their 2014 inception that the Hunters will have a new head coach in the 14-team ISC.
Marum’s best season was when the Hunters won the title and minor premiership in 2017.
He had a hand in the development of players such as the late Kato Ottio, Justin Olam, Wellington Albert, Ase and Watson Boas, Willie Minoga, Stargroth Amean and Wartovo Puara.