THE PNG sevens team will be without four of its better sevens players for the IRB Adelaide sevens this weekend.
Kojo Ware, PNG’s top performer at last month’s Wellington sevens, Buckley Joseph, Karo Kauna and David Eri will all miss the tournament.
Selectors however, have included sevens speedster Gina Ponda and brother Daniel to bolster the squad after the unavailability of the four.
While Gina Ponda is making a return to international rugby after injury forced him to miss the Wellington sevens and other lead up tournaments, Ware has been in his home village of Gavuone, Central province since returning from Wellington last month.
With the Aroma Sevens kicking off this weekend Ware’s involvement with his village team could be the reason for his unavailability.
Other members of the squad who can make up for the loss are recalled Rabaul youngster Bobby Pau and exciting 17-year-old New Ireland student Eugene Tokavai in a new makeup for coach Waisale Serevi and assistant Willie Rikis.
Another possible addition may see Brisbane-based Roland Namo join the side in Australia.
The final travelling team: Alex Haija (captain), Monty Diave, Lawrence Kuso, Sova Milfred, Benjamin John, Tisa Kautu, Albert Levi Jr, Pau, Tokavai, and Ponda brothers Daniel and Gina.
Malcolm Giheno is team manager.
PNG will play Kenya in the opening match at 7pm tomorrow and Fiji on Saturday before the final pool game against Wales.
Unlike the build-up for Wellington, preparations ahead of Adelaide had been decidely low-key.
PNG qualified for the IRB sanctioned Wellington and Adelaide sevens, which is part of the world sevens circuit, last year when it came third in the Pacific sevens.
PNG could also be attending the Commonwealth Games this October after Fiji were denied a place.