The National, Wednesday 12th June 2013
KUMUL prop Rodney Pora has played his last game for Whitehaven.
The international returned home to Papua New Guinea two weeks ago to be with his son, who was seriously ill in hospital.
And with Haven now well over half way through their league programme, the club did not see any prospect of a swift return to the UK.
“Rodney’s son is out of hospital and his condition has improved dramatically,” said chief executive Barry Richardson.
“Obviously we are pleased about that, and Rodney will want to spend some time with him, to make sure he is back on his feet. By that time, we don’t feel it will be practical to bring him back over here. We have only 11 matches left and don’t feel it would be cost-effective at this stage.”
Pora made a slow start to his Haven career after missing out on pre-season at the Recre but showed signs of major improvement after going through a rigorous fitness regime. And he scored his first try for the club in his final outing at London Skolars.
Fellow PNG international Jessie Joe Parker is Haven’s top try scorer this season, and Richardson has not ruled out future signings from PNG.
“We think it’s a good option,” he said.
“The beauty of signings players from Papua New Guinea or elsewhere overseas, as long as of the right quality, is that they live in the town.”
Whitehaven is a small town and port on the coast of Cumbria, England.
Located on the west coast of the county, outside the Lake District National Park, Whitehaven includes a number of former villages, estates and suburbs, such as Mirehouse, Kells and Hensingham.
The major industry is the nearby Sellafield nuclear complex, with which a large proportion of the population has links.
PNG coach Adrian Lam expects plenty of British interest in his players after this year’s World Cup. – newsandstar.co.uk