Tepend, Flanagan appointed


RUGBY league legend and Digicel Cup premiership-winning mentor Stanley Tepend has been appointed Michael Marum’s successor as Kumuls coach.
The announcement was made last night along with the appointment of National Rugby League (NRL) premiership-winning former Cronulla Sharks mentor Shane Flanagan as the Kumuls’ coaching consultant.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chief executive Stanley Hondina said the sport’s national governing body was keen to build on the success of the Kumuls in recent years.
He said former Lae Tigers mentor Tepend had the experience and qualifications to provide continued growth and stability, having served as the national men’s rugby league team assistant coach over the last six years.
“We congratulate Stanley Tepend, he’s worked hard and built an impressive coaching career, making him a well-respected coach in PNG,” Hondina said.
“We are confident that he will build on the success of the team.”
A six-time Digicel Cup premiership-winning mentor, the Kumuls legend is an assistant coach of the SP Hunters in Queensland’s Hostplus Cup. St George Illawarra Dragons assistant coach Flanagan will help Stanley and the Kumuls prepare for the end-of-year Rugby league World Cup in England.
“We are honoured to welcome an experienced and high-quality coach like Flanagan who can provide guidance and support to the Kumuls in their World Cup campaign,” Hondina said.
He said Flanagan would bring invaluable NRL experience and expertise, having guided the Sharks to a 14-12 win over the Melbourne Storm in the 2016 NRL grand final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
“There had been a bit of delay since Michael left, as there were lot of moving parts and we had to work proactively in line with our plans and requirements to identify the right candidate who ticked all the necessary boxes before the decision and announcement were made, and that included wider stakeholder consultations that had taken a bit of time,” Hondina said.
He thanked Tepend and Shane Flanagan for accepting the offers.
Tepend who holds a level two coaching qualification, said he was humbled by the appointment.
“A lot has happened over the last few months,” he said.
“Being part of the coaching staff at the Hunters was a highlight for me, to have been given the opportunity to assist and learn at this level.
“I thank the Lord for His timing and allowing this to happen.
“I am excited to take this challenge and I am grateful to Michael for initially having me as part of his Kumuls staff over the last six years, and my journey of success with the team will always stay with me.
“I now look forward to carrying that on as coach.”
Flanagan was excited when told of of his appointment as coaching director.
“I’m really excited about it, I think I can help the PNG team, there’s a Test match in Fiji soon leading into the World Cup, and I’m there to help and give advice,” he said.
“PNG have a got a good footy team and I know how passionate their people are about rugby league in general.
“I’m really excited about being involved in all of that.” The eight-month contracts of Tepend and Flanagan will end on Dec 31.