Mead chooses not to play for Papua New Guinea

He is one of their most decorated players in the modern era, and having played for them in the past, he could have been a great ambassador for rugby league in the country.

Now however, upset by the way in which rugby league in the country is run, Papua New Guinean winger and Gold Coast Titans player David Mead, says he no longer wants to play for the Kumuls, due to the poor way in which rugby league is run in the country.

“My dad is Australian and my mum is Papua New Guinea. But PNG rugby league is all over the place. It is not really run professionally and that has put me off,” Mead said.

The PNG-born Titans wing said his aspiration now was to play Origin for the Queensland Maroons.

“I’ve spoken to heaps of PNG players and they have said if I get the opportunity to play Origin I should take it with both hands,” he said.

“When Adrian Lam said there was a possibility of playing for Queensland it lit my eyes up even more.”

In a sign that the PNGRL has some work to do, if they want to keep their top players playing international rugby league for them – former Kumul Stanley Hondina stands by the decision that Mead made.

“We’ve lost David, and we’re going to lose more,” Hondina warned.

“These players play for millions and they’d give anything to play for their country.

“But what do we have for them? We have to be prepared to look after them. We need players like David to be competitive on the international stage.”

Hondina also said that it is up to the PNGRL to get their own affairs into order, before things get worse – and to see internal conflict between management cease immediately.

“Look at the standard of the Digicel Cup, the amount of dropped balls, the number of missed tackles, the ill-discipline.

“No board in place, no chairman, no technical people, no proper house to make decisions for the good of rugby league.

“What are we doing?” Hondina asked.

Tony Kuni, who is the PNGRL Referees Association Secretary, agreed that that Mead had his reasons to leave.

“We have people doing their own thing and need a governing body in place immediately.”

David Mead

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