By MICHAEL PHILIP
PORT Moresby Vipers new recruit William Tirang says he is not considering a return to rugby union and will continue his preseason training with the rugby league franchise in preparation for the 2022 Digicel Cup season.
Tirang made this announcement following the release of the PNG Pukpuks 28-man training squad this week which included him.
The former Pukpuks sevens representative told The National that he had not been contacted by PNG Rugby to check on his availability prior to the release of the squad.
“I have no idea who did they talk to for approval to include my name on the list and as far as I know, the Pukpuks management knows that I have been recruited already by the Vipers so for what reason I don’t know did my name appear on the list,” he said.
“That’s just a name, I will not go back, but the question is who did they ask to get the permission from to include my name on the train-on squad?
“I am making it clear here that I am not leaving the Vipers, I will stay and concentrate on my final preseason training before the start of the 2022 Digicel Cup season,” the 26-year-old said.
The Vunamurmur, Kokopo native was scouted by the Moni Plus-sponsored Vipers while playing for Brothers in the Sports Tok sevens tournament and Laumas in the Southern Super League Cup in Port Moresby.
Tirang, who can play in most backline positions, said he wanted to challenge himself in the new code.
“Rugby league is cool too as there is much more recognition than rugby union so I’m looking forward to more opportunities to come from playing rugby league with the Vipers in the Digicel Cup.”
Vipers coach Joe Sipa said the inclusion of Tirang would boost their finishing with the East New Briton now into the second phase of pre-season training.
Meanwhile, the 28-man Pukpuks squad will enter camp on Monday as PNGRU announced a 2022 calendar that will feature sevens qualifiers for the World Cup and the Four Nations Cup (15s).
as well as a revamped national sevens circuit and national provincial championships for 15s rugby.