Wan joins Lo at France’s Carcassonne


FORMER PNG Kumuls and Hunters prop Henry Wan, who signed a two-year contract with French rugby league club AS Carcassonne, left the country yesterday.
Wan was accompanied to Singapore by former Waghi Tumbe franchise owner Fredrick Koldop of Giru Construction Ltd, who sponsored his trip to France.
The French scene is expected to give Wan a new lease on his career after dealing with a sexual assault charge in Sydney in May 2017.
The court case saw Wan miss most of the Hunters premiership-winning season including the final.
He was then released by the Hunters at the end of that year and re-emerged in the Digicel Cup for the Tumbe the next season.
Koldop, who cut ties with the Tumbe this year, said despite being no longer with the Jiwaka franchise he was committed to helping players fulfil their aspirations in terms of playing overseas.
Wan will join Tumbe teammate Garry Lo at the French Elite One Championship club.
Established in 1938, Carcassonne is one of the most successful clubs in France, having won a total of 11 French championship titles and 14 Lord Derby Cups.
Koldop said he felt obliged to help both Wan and Lo to restart their careers after the pair had been sidelined by off-field issues.
Lo, who had a promising career to look forward to in the English Super League for the Castleford Tigers was forced to resign after an incident at a night club in the West Yorkshire town in 2017.
Koldop acquired the services of the pair last year and saw the Tumbe finish third and go within a game of making the grand final.
“We organised these deals with the French club to revive their careers. They are our stars and I think they have learned from their mistakes and will do well in a new environment,” Koldop said.
“I’m investing money to provide pathways for our best players.”
Koldop said he was confident Wan, 27, and Lo, 25, had the talent to be Kumuls again and achieve more in their careers.
“They are very good players who have performed when given the opportunity to play for their country.”
Wan said the incident in 2017 had tarnished his reputation and knocked him down a few notches from being considered elite to just another troubled player.
“That incident and the court case was hard for me. There was an allegation against me and I had to go through the court process and it took time,” Wan said.
“I just want to get my career back on track and I have not given up representing PNG again. I’m so grateful to Fred and what he has done from me at the Tumbe and now going to France.
“I’m not a bad person. I made a mistake and got in trouble for it but the allegation against me was eventually proven false and I’m just grateful to have a second chance,” he said.
Wan said he was looking forward to making the most of his chance at Carcassonne and continuing playing professional rugby league.

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