Marum hails Ipape for UK deal


PAPUA New Guinea Kumuls coach Michael Marum has congratulated utility Edwin Ipape for signing a one-year deal with English tier two side Leigh Centurions in the Betfred Championship.
Former Papua New Guinea international and Kumul coach Adrian Lam, who coaches Leigh, recommended the former SP Hunters hooker/half to the club which saw the Hela man, who starred in the Kumuls 2019 win over the British Lions in Port Moresby, given a lifeline after being released by the Hunters last month.
Lam earlier recruited another Kumul in former Norths Devils centre and National Rugby League journeyman Nene Macdonald over to the club for the 2022 season.
Marum told The National yesterday that Lam’s influence in signing Macdonald and Ipape would provide a boost to their careers and allow the possibility of more PNG players in the United Kingdom.
“It’s good to see these boys (Macdonald and Ipape) going to UK and playing under Adrian Lam,” Marum said.
“Hopefully this will expose more players from PNG and I hope Lam can continue to do that.
“I believe these players will also learn much from him (Lam).”
Marum said he was hoping to see Macdonald, 27, and Ipape, who turns 23 on Feb 2, eventually make their way up to the English premier competition, the Betfred Super League.
“Leigh is a second tier club but is still a tough competition. I hope to see both players give their best and make their way up to the Super League.”
Lam was also delighted with the signing of Ipape.
“Edwin is a great signing for us in that he can play in a variety of positions. There are two main parts to his game,” the 51-year-old said of the 2020 Manly Sea Eagles train-and-trial squad member.
“Firstly, he is an aggressive defender and secondly, he is incredibly quick and an elusive smart ball player. We hope to get him over here within a fortnight then he can get ready to make his debut.”
Meanwhile, Marum said the pool of players PNG had in the UK was growing.