The National, Wednesday July 11th, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
GOLD Coast Titans’ David Mead no longer wants to play for the Papua New Guinea Kumuls, saying he believes rugby league in the country is poorly run.
“My dad is Australian and my mum is Papua New Guinea. But PNG rugby league is all over the place. It is not really run professionally and that has put me off,” Mead told Rugby League Week in its July 4 edition released last week.
The PNG-born Titans wing said his aspiration now was to play Origin for the Queensland Maroons.
“I’ve spoken to heaps of PNG players and they have said if I get the opportunity to play Origin I should take it with both hands,” he said.
“When Adrian Lam said there was a possibility of playing for Queensland it lit my eyes up even more.”
Mead lost his father, Stephen, last week and is expected to arrive in Port Moresby this week for his funeral.
Mead Senior died in Brisbane, Australia, after a two-year battle with cancer.
It was the second loss in the family for the flyer, after a cousin died the week before.
Mead’s decision could finally break the silence of the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League management and that of the individuals who continue to hamper the sport’s progress.
Former Kumul Stanley Hondina has backed M ead’s decision by sounding the alarm for the PNGRFL.
“We’ve lost David, and we’re going to lose more,” Hondina warned.
“These players play for millions and they’d give anything to play for their country.
“But what do we have for them? We have to be prepared to look after them. We need players like David to be competitive on the international stage.”
Hondina called on the PNGRFL to get its house in order before the game suffered more.
He pointed out particularly to the standard of the game as a result of the ongoing conflict over the management of rugby league.
“Look at the standard of the Digicel Cup, the amount of dropped balls, the number of missed tackles, the ill-discipline.
“No board in place, no chairman, no technical people, no proper house to make decisions for the good of rugby league.
“What are we doing?” Hondina asked.
Papua New Guinea Rugby League referees association secretary Tony Kuni admitted that Mead’s reasons had grounds.
“We have people doing their own thing and need a governing body in place immediately.”