JANET John and Angela Watego have been named co-captains of the Oil Search Papua New Guinea Orchids for the inaugural Rugby League World Cup Nines in Sydney, Australia, this weekend.
The announcement was made at the Jackson International Airport by coach Bagelo Solien before the team departed for Sydney yesterday. The tournament will be televised live on TV Wan Action.
Solien said both women had shown exceptional leadership attitudes in camp over the past week.
“Janet captained the silver-winning PNG nines side at the recent Pacific Games in Samoa and we have retained her for her outstanding qualities as a leader,” Solien said.
“Angela (Watego) is a debutant Orchid but her enthusiasm and personality as a leader has been invaluable over the past seven days in camp.
“Both will share the responsibilities and leadership of this new-look Orchids side.”
Watego was surprised when told of her appointment before heading to the airport.
“It was an honour just to be selected into the team,” Watego said.
“But to be named as co-captain is a massive honour and privilege.
“I can’t wait to wear that red, black and gold jersey. We have worked out our combinations and strategies. We will polish up on our preparations over the next few days in Sydney. I can’t wait to represent my country. Bring it on.”
John thanked the PNG Rugby Football League for naming Angela as co-captain.
“I am happy for Angela as co-captain. We will share the responsibilities. We are focused on the task ahead of us will give our best for PNG at this inaugural Rugby League World Cup Nines,” she said.
PNGRFL chief executive Reatau Rau reminded the team to be good ambassadors of the country.
“You are representing our country in particular the many women and girls. All Papua New Guineans at home and around Australia will be following you and we wish you good luck,” Rau said.
The Orchids kick off their campaign at Bankwest Stadium when they take on England at 6.45pm on Friday. On Saturday, they play New Zealand at 11.30am followed by Australia at 5.40pm, with the top-two teams squaring off in the final at 7.45pm.
Meanwhile, the PNG LNG Kumuls also departed for Sydney yesterday afternoon.
The Kumuls play their first Pool-A game against the United States at 9.25pm on Friday. On Saturday, they take on New Zealand at 1.45pm followed by Australia at 5.15pm.
The top-two teams from Pool A and the top teams from Pools B and C qualify for the semifinals to be played later that evening. The two winners will meet in the final at 9pm to determine the Rugby League World Cup Nines champions.