In a huge boost for rugby league in Papua New Guinea – especially ahead of the World Cup – international duo Enoch Maki and Francis Paniu have signed with English Super League side, Hull KR.
Enoch and Paniu will both represent Papua New Guinea at the Rugby League World Cup, with Hull KR fans able to watch the duo in action before they join the club for pre-season training in November.
It was a former Hull KR player in Stanley Gene who recommended the Rovers sign the PNG duo and for CEO Mike Smith, he jumped at the chance to do so.
â€œWe are looking forward to having Enoch and Francis on board. As you would expect, they are both raw and exciting players and Iâ€™m sure our coaching staff will have a great influence on them,” said Smith.
â€œAs a club, we have great links with PNG and these signings are another example of that. Iâ€™m sure those fans that turn out for the RLWC2013 games will be impressed with what they see and Iâ€™d urge as many Robinsâ€™ supporters as possible to turn out and welcome the boys to east Hull.â€
For Maki, he is excited with the opportunity to test himself at a higher level and looks forward to his new stint.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Maki.
“It will be a lot of hard work but this is a great opportunity for us and we will be learning every day, and taking as much as we can from the coaching staff at the club.”
Equally excited is Paniu, who has been in regular contact with Gene about the club.
“It’s really exciting to be joining such a famous club as Hull KR,” said Paniu.
“Stanley has told us lots about the club and its fans, particularly the noise the East Stand makes! We can’t wait to get started.”