Rugby League World Cup Preview: Papua New Guinea

Dealt a blow with the loss of James Segeyaro due to injury, the Papua New Guinea side are a determined and spirited side but with a tough group and more local players than most sides, can they cause enough upsets to make the next stage?

Josiah Abavu (Port Moresby Vipers), Paul Aiton (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Dion Aiye (Rabaul Gurias), Wellington Albert (Lae Tigers), Ase Boas (Rabaul Gurias), Jason Chan (Huddersfield Giants), Neville Costigan (Newcastle Knights), Israel Eliab (Port Moresby Vipers), Richard Kambo (Port Moresby Vipers), Roger Laka (Enga Mioks), Enoch Maki (Mendi Muruks), Larsen Marabe (Orange CYMS), Bosam McDonald (Sydney Roosters), David Mead (Gold Coast Titans), Mark Mexico (Lae Tigers), Jessie Joe Nandye (Whitehaven), Sebastien Pandia (Port Moresby Vipers), Francis Paniu (Rabaul Gurias), James Segeyaro (Penrith Panthers), Jason Tali (Mount Hagen Eagles), Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys), Charlie Wabo (Mendi Muruks), Menzie Yere (Sheffield Eagles)

Obviously with Segeyaro out, that leaves Paul Aiton, Jason Chan, Neville Costigan and several others with first-grade experience and a lot of it at that.

For all PNG fans, they will be hoping that the veterans and NRL players can help and guide the local players in the competition, as they hope to play and perform to the best of their ability and hopefully cause some upsets if possible.

What the PNG side might lack in a vast amount of NRL and Super League experience, they gain in a spirited resolve, determination galore and a love and passion for the game, evidenced by how much PNG locals love the game of rugby league.

Overall, the PNG side’s determination will see them compete and try their hearts out in every game and their fans will barrack and support the side no matter what, but with a group of Samoa, New Zealand and France, getting out of it will be a tall order for them.

The team I’d go with:

1. Nene MacDonald
2. Richard Kambo
3. Israel Eliab
4. Menzie Yere
5. David Mead
6. Ray Thompson
7. Dion Aiye
8. Enoch Maki
9. Paul Aiton
10. Mark Mexico
11. Jason Chan
12. Jessie Joe Parker
13. Neville Costigan (C)

14. Charlie Wabo
15. Larsen Marabe
16. Sebastien Pandia
17. Francis Paniu

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