32 battle for Kumul spot

IT’S make or break time for 32 Papua New Guinea Kumuls hopefuls. 
With several spots more than likely to be taken up by class acts from either Australia’s National Rugby League or the English Super League, the ratio of local talent has shortened.
This has set the stage for a fierce contest amongst the Digicel Cup hopefuls who at best would be looking to clamp down on at least 17 of the 22 seats available for this year’s World Cup.
The Digicel Cup players will dominate selection. 
The players will answer that question in expected “all out battle” to gain the selectors nod.
Kumul coach Adrian Lam is hoping that players feel compelled to go beyond themselves to show cause.
The trial set for this Sunday between PNG Gold and PNG Red will separate the men from the boys.
Yesterday both teams entered their respective camps, minus international-based James Segeyaro and Paul Aiton.
Team Kumul general manager Mathew Natusch yesterday confirmed that both have niggling injuries and will not be flying in to play.
Apart from Jessie Joe Nandye who returned three games short of completing his English stint, the rest are PNG based players.
Kumul coach Adrian Lam reiterated that national selectors have done a great job and the dominance of local based players does indicate the players have advanced to a higher stage since the Kumul Camp concept began in April.
Lam did however say that despite the absence of international based players due to club commitments or minor injuries, they will be still taken into consideration for the Prime Minister’s XIII match against Australia next week in Kokopo, East New Britain.
“In saying that the Digicel Cup players have come of age and at this stage the opportunity is there for the taking for players to prove themselves worthy over the next two weeks,” he said.
“The players will train together as a group in camp until Friday and then separate under their respective coaches, Michael Marum for PNG Gold and Nigel Hukula for PNG Red,” Lam confirmed.
He said Team Kumul coaching director Mal Meninga will join the camp on Friday.
He told the players that this is the time to show your wares and hinted that he wouldn’t mind if there was a bit of animosity in both camps.

The National

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