18 Dec 2014

Sport: PNG Hunters expecting trio to flourish in NRL

8:12 am on 18 December 2014

Papua New Guinea Hunters boss Brad Tassell doesn't expect to see Wartovo Puara and Thompson Teteh at the club in 2015.

PNG Rugby League CEO Brad Tassell at a press conference last year.

PNG Rugby League CEO Brad Tassell at a press conference last year. Photo: SP PNG Hunters

The duo will join NRL premiers South Sydney in January on a six-week trial where the club will have the option to sign both players for the 2015 season.

Fellow Hunters players Stanton Albert has also signed a two-year deal to join his brother Wellington at the Penrith Panthers.

Brad Tassell says NRL clubs have been impressed by the set-up at the Hunters franchise and says Puara and Teteh were specifically requested by the Rabbitohs to fill some holes in their line-up.

"When they sat down they saw vision of Wartovo in action...and they were pretty gobsmacked. The comment from one of them was that, "geez, he's better than the kid that we've lost", so...I can't see any reason why he won't be contracted there for the year and won't come back to us. Obviously they also lost a centre for nine months suspension as well so they've got a hole there in that centre position and Thompson Teteh's ready-made for that: he's big, strong, fast, great defence, good footwork [and] very athletic. I'd be pretty confident in saying that we don't want to see either of those two players back in Hunters colours next year."

Brad Tassell says the signings are a vindication of the Hunters programme and shows there is a real pathway for local players to take the next step into the top professional ranks.

PNG Hunters hooker Wartovo Puara.

PNG Hunters hooker Wartovo Puara. Photo: SP PNG Hunters

PNG Hunters centre Thompson Teteh.

PNG Hunters centre Thompson Teteh. Photo: SP PNG Hunters

PNG Hunters player Stanton Albert has signed with the Penrith Panthers.

PNG Hunters player Stanton Albert has signed with the Penrith Panthers. Photo: SP PNG Hunters