KUMUL great John Wilshere announced his retirement from national duties on Monday bringing to an end a long career in the red, black and gold stretching back 12 years.
Wilshire, a veteran Kumul and current captain of the team led the national side for the last time in the Pacific Cup final on Sunday against the Cook Islands.
In an interview yesterday, Wilshere said he was proud to have represented and played rugby league for PNG, and hanging up his boots after winning the Pacific Cup, and helping the team qualify for the Four Nation’s, was an awesome achievement.
The 31-year-old Wilshire, whose mother hails from Butibum in Morobe province and father from Australia, has decided to quit the game which he loved.
The victorous Kumuls captain has played for Western Reds (1997), Melbourne Storm (1998), St. George Illawarra Dragons (1999-2003), Warrington Wolves (2004), Leigh Centurions (2005), Salford City Reds (2006 to present), a total of 95 club matches in the top grade under his belt both in Australia and England.Having debuted for Kumuls in 1997 in the Oceanic Cup for the Kumuls against the New Zealand Kiwis in New Zealand playing alongside Marcus Bai, David Buko, current coach Adrian Lam, Bruce Mamando and Mark Mom, was a fantastic experience.
Having left the NRL at the end of 2003, Wilshere went to England and played for the Leigh Centurions, Warrington Wolves before settling at the Salford Reds as specialist goal-kicker.
Qualifying for the four nation’s and almost defeating England in the World Cup last year has been the highlight of his rugby league career according to Wilshire.
He said to see the boys play in the Four Nations series would be a great feeling because they had a very good mixture of players in the squad.
His former team mate and current team manager member of the Kumuls, Michael Marum, des-cribed him as good leader who never shirked the load and led by example.
“He very openly talks to the boys and is easy to get along with in the training camp.”