Sport: PNG Kumuls squad close to being finalised

10:24 am on 16 April 2016

Papua New Guinea are close to finalising a squad for next month's Pacific rugby league test against Fiji in Sydney.

PNG players at the Rugby League World Cup.

PNG players at the Rugby League World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

PNG Hunters mentor Michael Marum was appointed interim Kumuls coach in February and a strong performance next month should confirm his position through to next year's World Cup.

PNGRFL Chief Executive Officer, Bob Cutmore, expects the team to have a strong local flavour, supplemented by a few players in the NRL and feeder competitions.

"We've actually named a squad of 30 players but we haven't finalised it yet...but Michael will sit down with the national selectors and try to sort that out in the next week."

"I still think we will be mostly Hunters because a lot of our players that we would have picked from like (Penrith Panther's hooker) James Segeyaro and (North Queensland Cowboys utility) Ray Thompson - they're all injured for their NRL clubs, so that doesn't help us...and we're keeping a track of all those players and their injuries...and we've just got to see what players that we've got and how they're injured. It all depends what happens over the next couple of weeks while we track these players in Australia," he said.

Canberra Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste and centre Kato Ottio are among those under consideration.

Meanwhile the former Papua New Guinea coach Adrian Lam has joined the Kangaroos coaching staff as a performance analyst.

Lam was in charge of the Kumuls at the 2013 World Cup and joins the Australian coaching staff led by Mal Meninga, who replaced Lam as Kumuls boss before resigning last year to take charge of Kangaroos.