It’s Naio or never

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday July 5th, 2013


ADECK Naio, a current member of the Monier Pukpuks said this was the moment he has been waiting for all his life.

Naio, 27 from Morobe (pictured), finally walked through selection after almost 10 years of knocking on Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union’s doors for selection.

Naio told The National on Wednesday during the Oceania Cup welcome function at the 14-Mile Adventure Park outside Port Moresby that this was the right time to represent his country despite the long wait.

“Mi hamamas osem nau mi ba pilai lo kantri blo mi lo ai blo femili blo mi,” Naio said.

The dynamic fly-half rose to fame leading up towards the recent Monier Pukpuks development squad tour to Gold Coast, Australia, but did not make the cut.

Despite missing out on the tour, Naio was called back into the squad under the expertise of coaches Alan Manning and backline coach Francis Genia.

Naio’s talent and potential was identified back in 2007 when he was called on to the Pukpuks train-on squad, alongside current teammates Douglas Guise, Aaron Miai, Philip Suapo and Kapua Kapua in the Brisbane Tour but missed out making the final team.

“Nau mi mekim squad, mi gat bikpla bilip lo dispela tim,” Naio said.

The classy utility back liner said that the team was a good mix of young talent and experienced players.

Naio was part of the rugby 7s team to the 2009 Cook Islands Mini Pacific Games. That was also the last time he represented the country in rugby.

Tomorrow would be Naio’s first Oceania Cup appearance and a first ever rugby 15s rep duty.

Naio, playing for Defence in the Capital Rugby Union, has been with the club since 2000.

The Pukpuks will face a much fitter and bigger Solomon Island Hunters tomorrow at the Lloyd Robson Oval.