Papua New Guinea dealt major blow in World Cup

Josh McAllister
Xavier Coates Melbourne Storm Papua New Guinea PA

Papua New Guinea have been dealt a major blow with Xavier Coates ruled out for the rest of the tournament, according to reports.

The Melbourne Storm winger did not feature in their opening Group D match against Tonga due to a hamstring injury.

PNG fell to a heartbreaking last-minute defeat at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Tuesday. Keaon Koloamatangi scoring the winner with just two minutes left on the clock for a 24-18 scoreline.

George Clark of the Australian Associated Press has reported that 21-year-old Coates has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to the injury. He is set to return Down Under.

Outside-back Edene Gebbie will also return home and will not play a part in the Kumuls’ World Cup campaign. 

Back-rower Dan Russell featured on the wing against Kristian Woolf’s Tonga on Tuesday in replacement of Coates. He scored a try on the left wing, while having one ruled out for being in touch. 

Papua New Guinea next face Cook Islands in Group A at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Tuesday. Their final group match will come against Wales the following Monday at the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster.

Retired Korbin Sims added to Fiji’s World Cup squad

Retired prop forward Korbin Sims has been added to Fiji’s World Cup squad and has been named in the 19-man team to face Italy.

Sims, 30, announced his retirement at the end of 2022 Super League season. He made 173 career appearances for Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and Hull KR, and also won nine caps for Fiji.

However, he could yet return to the field during the World Cup tournament against Italy on Saturday at Kingston Park.

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