10 Dec 2018

Sport: Kumuls happy for Nene MacDonald u-turn

4:12 pm on 10 December 2018

Papua New Guinea rugby league coach Michael Marum says he's thrilled Nene MacDonald has reaffirmed his desire to play for the Kumuls, despite threatening to boycott the team last month after he was assaulted in Port Moresby.

The 24-year-old required medical attention after an off-duty police officer allegedly threw a glass at him in a night club in Port Moresby following the Kumuls victory over the England Knights on November 3.

The North Queensland Cowboys winger posted on Facebook after the incident that he "will never put on a PNG Kumuls jersey again" until the person who attacked him "is found and dealt with".

Nene MacDonald played in the PNG Kumuls victory over the England Knights.

Nene MacDonald played in the PNG Kumuls victory over the England Knights. Photo: RNZ Pacific/Melvin Levongo

But in an interview with Fox Sports Australia last week, MacDonald revealed the alleged offender had been caught and that he was keen to represent his country again.

"It was sort of random, I don't know. It's sorted now, the cops got him," Macdonald told Fox Sports on Monday last week, a month after the alleged assault took place.

"He got away but it's good they've got him now. They messaged me and said it's all getting sorted so we'll see what happens with that."

"At the time I was pretty dirty, as anyone would be. Now I'm over it but at the time I was angry he got away. Now it's all sorted. Obviously I love playing for my country, as everyone does."

PNG coach Michael Marum, (in black), takes his players through their paces

PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum directs his players. Photo: PNG Rugby League

Speaking to RNZ Pacific, Kumuls coach Michael Marum said MacDonald was one of PNG's most experienced and important test players and welcomed his change of heart.

"I knew he was going to change his mind and I knew at that time he was a bit disappointed with the incident, what they did to him at that club," Marum said.

"We've spoken to him and he's good. Our focus is for him to concentrate on his pre-season training with his new club, (North Queensland) Cowboys and hopefully he gets a good start to the season, plays well and hopefully we need him for the mid-season tests and also the end of the year tests that we've got planned," he said.

"It's good news for us - Nene is a proud PNG boy that we know wears the jumper with pride."

"I think the main lesson for us and also probably our supporters is they need to appreciate the efforts these boys put in week-in, week-out, whether they're representing club football or playing for their country because they put PNG on the world map."