Kumuls name 6 rookies


SP Hunters fullback Terry Wapi and Brisbane Broncos emerging star Xavier Coates are among six Papua New Guinea Kumuls debutants to face Samoa in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday.
Wapi was emotional when he was named in the 18-man squad for the Oceania Cup opener at Leichhardt Oval. Down on reinforcements, the Hunters threw Wapi in the deep and the Rabaul Gurias flyer did not let coach Michael Marum down.
Of his three games for the Hunters, the 22-year-old has delivered two match-of-the-match performances.
Edene Gabbie, Edwin Epape, Kyle Laybutt and Zev John have worn the red, black and gold jersey in unofficial international matches in the past, and will now make their debuts.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said this is one of the best teams selected, minus the United Kingdom-based players.
Tsaka said it was difficult to name the final 18 as there were other quality players also in contention for spots. “We are confident that our boys will do the country proud,” he said. Marum said captain Moses Meninga was put on report in the match against the Manly Wynnum Seagulls.
“But we will wait for the outcome,” he said.
He said the captain would be named this week.
Kumuls: Gabbie (Wynnum Manly), Epape (Wynnum Manly), Enock Maki (Hunters), James Segeyaro (Brisbane Broncos), Junior Rau (Hunters), Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm), Kurt Baptiste (North Queensland Cowboys), Laybutt (North Queensland Cowboys), Lachlan Lam (Sydney Roosters), Luke Page (Burleigh Bears), Moses Meninga (Hunters), Nixon Putt (Norths Devils), Rhadley Brawa (Wynnum Manly), Rhys Martin (Canterbury Bulldogs), Stanton Albert (Hunters), Wapi (Hunters), Coates (Brisbane Broncos), John (Melbourne Storm).

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