Sport: Hunters players dominate PNG World Cup squad

9:48 am on 5 October 2017

PNG Hunters players dominate the Papua New Guinea Rugby League World Cup squad, while UK-based winger Gary Lo and Cronulla hooker James Segeyaro make a welcome return to the national team.

Brisbane Broncos flyer David Mead will captain the side, having missed the Pacific Test victory over Cook Islands in May through injury, with Ase Boas as vice captain.

The PNG Kumuls celebrate beating the Cook Islands.

The PNG Kumuls celebrate beating the Cook Islands in May. Photo: Facebook / PNG Kumuls

There are ten players from the Queensland Cup winning Hunters side, including the Boas brothers, Ase and Watson, along with Wartovo Puara, Wellington Albert, Willie Minoga, Stargroth Amean, Nixon Putt, Stanton Albert, Moses Meninga and Enock Maki.

Seven players are contracted to NRL teams, including Mead, Segeyaro, Canberra duo Kato Ottio and Kurt Baptiste, St George Illawarra's Nene MacDonald and Canterbury Bulldogs pair Rhys Martin and Rod Griffin.

PNG Kumuls captains David Mead.

PNG Kumuls captain David Mead. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Nineteen-year-old Sydney Roosters five-eighth Lachlan Lam has also earned a call-up, with the Maroons under 20s representative following the footsteps of his father, former Kumuls player and coach Adrian Lam.

However, South Sydney fullback Alex Johnston was not selected because of injury.

PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka said the squad had the country's full support.

"Riding on the back of the successful PNG Hunters season in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup, the support of our nation's eight-million-plus people will turn to the PNG Kumuls in the 2017 World Cup campaign," he said.

"With three home games, the expectations of our people is there for you to perform well. All we ask of you is to play every game with pride and passion. We will be right behind you."

The PNG Kumuls World Cup squad is announced in Port Moresby.

The PNG Kumuls World Cup squad is announced in Port Moresby. Photo: RNZI/Melvin Levongo

The players will assemble in camp today in Port Moresby and undergo medical and fitness tests.

The Kumuls will fly to Fiji on Wednesday to play in a tri-series against Australia and the Bati.

PNG play their first World Cup game on October 28 against Wales in Port Moresby, before hosting Ireland on November 5 and the USA a week after that.

PNG Squad:

Ase Boas (PNG Hunters); David Mead (Brisbane); Enock Maki (Hunters); Garry Lo (Sheffield Eagles); James Segeyaro (Cronulla); Justin Olam (Melbourne); Kato Ottio; Kurt Baptiste (both Canberra); Lachlan Lam (Sydney Roosters); Luke Page (Burleigh Bears); Moses Meninga (Hunters); Nene MacDonald (St George Illawarra); Nixon Put (Hunters); Paul Aiton (Catalan Dragons); Rhys Martin; Rod Griffin (Canterbury); Stanton Albert; Stargroth Amean (both Hunters) Thompson Teteh (Redcliffe Dolphins); Wartovo Puara Jnr; Wellington Albert; Watson Boas; Willie Minoga (all Hunters)