Then National, Wednesday 12th September, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
THE road to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup begins for the Papua New Guinea Kumuls when a 40-man squad is announced this week alongside the Prime Minister’s XIII side.
Kumuls coach Adrian Lam sat with the PM’s XIII selection panel on Sunday after the Digicel Cup grand final, and there is no doubt he would have reminded the panel about the World Cup build-up.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League caretaker administrator Ivan Ravu indicated the PM’s XII match was not the only game for the Kumuls.
“There is a lot of work to do for the PM’s XIII Sept 23 match, but also for preparing our national team for the world cup,” Ravu said.
“The 40-man squad that will be announced will come from our local competition, and the others will come from overseas competitions.”
“There is agreement with other overseas competitions for our players in the UK, so we are not able to pick them at the moment.”
The immediate commitment for those selected to the larger Kumuls squad will be a camp in early January.
Trials will be played at the end of the camp, from where a 24-man squad will be picked to travel to Sydney to play Australian National Rugby League side South Sydney.
“That same side will play a club from the Queensland Intrust Cup in Brisbane, on their way back home,” Ravu said.
He pointed again to the PM’s XIII challenge and preparations leading to it.
“Otherwise, the Lloyd Robson oval is currently going through a minor facelift for our immediate task of exposing a PM’s side against the Australians.”
“Work is underway also on the ground and the playing surface, a lot of manual work to do, irrigation, especially so the surface is good enough and up to standard.”
Australia, meanwhile, named their 18-man touring team to Port Moresby after the initial 35-man squad announced two weeks ago was trimmed.