The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) have for the first time widened the scope of selection for the Palais to include players from Australia and Madang.
This is part of their bid to to do well at the Borneo Sevens in Malaysia in September and the all-important Oceania Cup (Rio qualifier) slated for Noosa in Queensland in October.
The addition of two Australian-based players in Melissa-Luana Peters and Jenni-Sue Hoepper and a possible opening for more signals a new trend to bolster the women’s sevens team with the aim to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil in 2016.
Peters from Samoa and Hanuabada is the daughter of former PNG Pukpuk prop Herbert Peters, while Hoepper is of mixed Kairuku and Australian parentage.
Peters was playing with the Aussie Tag Team while Hoepper with the Australian Indiginous team in the same tournament (Australian State Championships) that the Palais took part in earlier this year in Sydney.
The addition of the four players from Madang is also a positive sign after they were identified during a recent road-show.
The opening for other playing centres including Lae and Goroka is believed to be in the pipeline as well.
The return of former strike players in Joanne Lagona and Debbie Koare to the mix has already added power to the team.
The squad: Kaila Benny, Dulcie Bomai, Amenda Ipat, Yawoina Morofa, Jillian Yallon, Geua Larry (Spartans), Doris Joseph, Lillian Mulake, Freda Waula, Pauline Arazi, Ruth Omenefa (Chiefs), Jermimah Meraudje, Hisi (Wanderers), Naomi Alapi, Lynette Kwarula, Debbie Koare, Cathy Neap (Sisters), Kymlie Rapilla, Cassandra Sampson, Margaret Naua, Joanne Lagona, Marie Siari, Patricia Harricknen (Harlequins), Maureen Karo, Melissa Sindiwan, Ruth Benjamin, Lillian Turalir (Madang), Melissa-Luana Peters, Jenni-Sue Hoepper (Australia).