The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII will take on Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII in their annual clash this Saturday, September 24 in Port Moresby.
Australia Prime Minister’s XIII and Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga has named an exceptionally strong side for the occasions — labeling the match as crucial in helping shape his squad for the upcoming Trans-Tasman Test and Four Nations tournament.
Three Wests Tigers players have been included in the squad — headlined by established international names such as Greg Inglis, Boyd Cordner and Aaron Woods — while six debutants (including Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco) have also been named.
After originally naming NRL-based players such as David Mead, Nene Macdonald and Ray Thompson in the squad, the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII will now be without those key players following their withdrawal. The 21-man squad for PNG is now comprised solely of players from the PNG Hunters side which players in the Queensland domestic competition, as well as Digicel Cup talent plus two confederate players.
Playmaker Ase Boas has been named and will no doubt be the key man for the home side as he looks to captain Papua New Guinea to another international victory in 2016, following on from their dramatic 24-22 upset win over Fiji Bati earlier in the season.
The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII has never lost a match against Papua New Guinea since the fixture began in 2005, but was held to a 24-24 draw back in 2007. Last year, Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma scored two tries in a 40-12 win for the visitors.
Date — Saturday, September 24
Time — 4:30pm local time (4:30pm AEST)
Venue — National Football Stadium, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Australia Prime Minister’s XIII
1. James Tedesco 2. Semi Radradra 3. Greg Inglis 4. Josh Dugan 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jake Friend 10. Ryan James 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Josh Jackson 14. David Klemmer 15. Moses Mbye 16. Dylan Napa 17. Jake Trbojevic 18. Matt Moylan — Coach: Mal Meninga
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII
Bland Abavu, Butler Morris, Justin Olam, Pasu Awani, Anderson Benford, Ase Boas (capt.), Wartovo Puara Jnr., Willie Minoga, Noel Joel, Esan Siune, David Loko, Bernard Goma, Brandy Peter, Junior Rop, Radley Brawa, Ila Alu, Mafu Kalas, Kingston Paul, Yoks Bagave, Konnie Bernard, Peter Muka Kulu — Coach: Michael Marum
2015 — Australia PM’s XIII 40 def. Papua New Guinea 12
2014 — Australia PM’s XIII 34 def. Papua New Guinea 16
2013 — Australia PM’s XIII 50 def. Papua New Guinea 10
2012 — Australia PM’s XIII 24 def. Papua New Guinea 18
2011 — Australia PM’s XIII 36 def. Papua New Guinea 22
“Our squad is made up mostly of Digicel Cup and PNG Hunters players, and they will play their hearts out against what I see as a genuine Australian Kangaroos side on Saturday. Our focus is to start strong defensively and to ensure we make full use of the ball in hand.
"This might not be a Kumuls representative game, but I believe the boys will show pride and passion for their country.” — Papua New Guinea Coach, Michael Marum
“The players see the importance of putting the green and gold on. This is a genuine trial for the guys for Four Nations selection, but also for the World Cup next year.
"It’s very pleasing to see them all available. It shows credibility. This is the strongest PM’s XIII team we’ve taken to Papua New Guinea. From an experience point of view, if they go with the right attitude to enjoy their profile up there and play well, they’ll come back with happy memories.” — Australia Prime Minister’s XIII Coach, Mal Meninga