NRL star open to playing for Papua New Guinea

Drew Darbyshire

South Sydney full-back Alex Johnston would like to honour his Pacifika heritage by playing for Papua New Guinea.

Along with a number of NRL players, Johnston attended the NRL’s cultural leadership camps at Sydney’s North Head Quarantine Station.

Johnston, who will play for the Indigenous All Stars in Friday night’s match against New Zealand Maori, took part in the Indigenous sessions but said he would like to learn more about his Papua New Guinean culture.

“I was going to play for them [at the 2017 World Cup] but I tore my hammy,” Johnston told

“That was unlucky because it would have been pretty good to represent that side of my family.

“My nan was originally from Papua New Guinea, but she has a Torres Strait Islands background too. She met my grandfather in PNG and they moved to Brisbane.

“That was a while ago and I don’t know too much about my PNG culture, so it is pretty good for me to come to these camps and learn a bit more about my Indigenous culture and be around the other boys as well, so I get to learn a bit there too.”