Papua New Guinea coach Justin Holbrook has named six players from Super League in his Kumuls squad for the upcoming Pacific Championships.
Leigh Leopards duo Edwin Ipape and Lachlan Lam, who were both named in this year’s Super League Dream Team, are included after helping Adrian Lam’s side lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley in August.
Castleford Tigers have two players involved in Holbrook’s side this autumn. Liam Horne, who impressed upon his arrival at the club towards the end of last season, will provide a hooking option for Holbrook whilst Nixon Putt, who has signed a two-year deal with the Tigers from next season, will also feature.
Leeds Rhinos’ goal-kicking forward Rhyse Martin will look to add to his 15 caps in the Pacific Championships, whilst his former team-mate Nene Macdonald, who has recently departed Headingley, has also been selected by Holbrook.
Warrington Wolves fans will get the chance to see their new signing Rodrick Tai in action before he arrives at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. He is likely to line up for the Kumuls in the centres alongside Melbourne Storm’s Justin Olam.
Another player plying his trade in England is prop Wellington Albert, who has spent the last two seasons in the Championship with London Broncos.
Papua New Guinea will host the Cook Islands in Port Moresby on October 15 before taking on Fiji two weeks later.
The final of the men’s Pacific Bowl takes place at Santos Stadium in Port Moresby on November 5.
Papua New Guinea squad for Pacific Championships
Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Benji Kot (PNG Hunters)
Dan Russell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Edwin Ipape (Leigh Leopards)
Epel Kapinias (PNG Hunters)
Jack de Belin (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Jacob Alick (Gold Coast Titans)
Judah Rimbu (PNG Hunters)
Junior Rop (PNG Hunters)
Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm)
Kyle Laybutt (Townsville Blackhawks)
Lachlan Lam (Leigh Leopards)
Liam Horne (Castleford Tigers)
Nene Macdonald (was Leeds Rhinos, now unattached)
Nixon Putt (Central Queensland Capras, soon to be Castleford Tigers)
Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos)
Robert Derby (North Queensland Cowboys)
Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters soon to be Warrington Wolves)
Valentine Richard (Central Queensland Capras)
Wellington Albert (London Broncos)
Zac Laybutt (North Queensland Cowboys)