17 Dec 2014

Sport: Three PNG players to join NRL clubs

11:33 am on 17 December 2014

Three Papua New Guinea Hunters players will take up contracts with NRL clubs in Australia in the new year.

Wartovo Puara and Thompson Teteh will join premiers South Sydney in January on a six-week trial while 19 year old Stanton Albert will join his brother Wellington at the Penrith Panthers on a two-year deal.

The South Sydney deal will see Puara and Teteh train and trial with the Rabbitohs top grade squad for six weeks where the club will have the option to sign both players for the 2015 season.

Albert's contract is almost identical to older sibling Wellington's, with the youngster to play with the Panthers Under 20s side next year before taking up a full senior contract in 2016.

Stanton was named player of the tournament in the Commonwealth Championship winning PNG U19 team earlier this year as well as impressing for the Hunters in their maiden Intrust Super cup campaign.

Hunters CEO Brad Tassell says it was an amazing effort for the young club to already be providing players to the NRL after the recruitment of Wellington Albert and Mark Mexico earlier in the year.

Head Coach Michael Marum says the Hunters program is the best thing to happen to rugby league in PNG and it is seeing the benefits of the structures put in place by everyone from the management through to the coaches.

He says the club is now creating their own pathway where players can go to the NRL from PNG and not have to move to Australia at an early age.

PNG's Minister for Sport Justin Tkatchenko has also granted K10,000 for Puara and Teteh to help cover some of their living costs during their six week trial period.