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The Roar


Here's how the PNG 2017 RLWC team could shape up

International rugby league is going from strength to strength. (photo: 2017 Rugby League World Cup, Scott Davis)
Roar Guru
8th October, 2016
5338 Reads

With the 2017 RLWC around the corner, I will try to project what the teams will look like next year.

Today I will cover Papua New Guinea, the only country in where rugby league is the national sport. Papua New Guinea can field their strongest team ever to date next year.

The introduction of the Papua New Guinea Hunters into the Queensland Cup has really helped the development of local players, as a number of them make the team.

1. Ben Barba
2. Alex Johnston
3. Kato Ottio
4. Nene MacDonald

5. David Mead 

6. Watson Boas
7. Ray Thompson
8. Luke Paige
9. James Segearyo
10. Henry Wan 

11. Rod Griffin
12. Wellington Albert
13. Willie Minogoa
14. Kurt Baptise
15. Henry Nokoi
16. Rhys Martin
17. Adam Korave

The obvious weakness is in the forwards with only Luke Paige playing any NRL games, however the backline is very dangerous.

Barba, Johnston and Mead provide pace and great try-scoring ability while Ottio might be the best player not to play NRL.

The halves are led by the experienced Ray Thompson and Watson Boas brings plenty of energy to the side. Former Panther and Cowboy James Segeyaro has been at the top of his game for years and will steer the team around the park. He will be a threat from dummy half.

While the team may lack some quality, they lack no enthusiasm – a key ingredient for international success.