Leigh hooker Edwin Ipape hopes Papua New Guinea can build on their historic win over Great Britain with an impressive World Cup campaign later this year.
The 23-year-old has won three caps for his native Papua New Guinea since making his international debut in 2019. One of them came in a stunning 28-10 victory over Great Britain on home soil.
It is one of the biggest games that Ipape has played in to date, and one that he remembers fondly.
“It was back home, the ground was full capacity and we knew we had to do something to make the fans and the rest of the country proud,” Ipape told Love Rugby League.
“We wanted to do something special for them and ourselves as well. It was a good hit out and to get a win over Great Britain was a great positive sign for us. It is something that I’ll hold onto forever.”
Edwin Ipape on playing in first World Cup
The former PNG Hunters star won the man of the match award in Leigh’s 30-16 victory over Championship rivals Featherstone in the 1895 Cup final on Saturday.
And the Centurions fan’s favourite will be hoping to play in his first World Cup this autumn, which is hosted in England.
He said: “To be here experiencing the weather and everything here and then to be involved in the World Cup with Papua New Guinea would be massive.
“I guess it will be the icing on the cake I guess. It will make it sweeter by finishing the year representing my country.
“The new coach (Stanley Tepin) that has been appointed was my first coach when I started playing. I’ve called him and we’ve had a chat about it. He is really looking forward to taking the role on. He is going to need the support of the players. I think he’ll do a good job.
“We play with a lot of passion and love for the game. Everyone in our country loves the sport. You can see the passion in the boys.”