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Former PNG LNG Kumuls skipper and Catalans Dragons centre David Mead is happy to be part of the backline for Kumuls as they face Great Britain on Saturday.
Mead, who is dynamic all round backline specialist can play at fullback, wing or centre was again named by Kumuls Coach Michael Marum at centre to partner with Edene Gebbie, Justin Olam, Alex Johnston and Stargroth Amean.
“Yeah, I am excited to be part of that backline, you’ve got some speed in the backline like Alex (Johnston), Edene (Gebbie), Justin (Olam) and Star (Amean) as well. I am excited to go out there with the boys.
“Obviously we’ve got to do a lot of work, be hot on Saturday afternoon so we need to do a lot of work to help our forwards out,” said Mead.
Mead said the visitors have a good quality of players given some play for St. Helens who won the 2019 Super League title with players like Luke Thompson and Jonny Lomax.
“We going to have our hands full over the weekend so we got to make sure we prepare well and approach the game with a good mentality,” said Mead.
He said Kumuls just need to make sure they prepare really well, get themselves ready as best they can to give them a good chance of going out onto the field of play and perform really well.
Kumuls five-eight was impressive with his kicking game last Saturday against Fiji Batis and when asked to comment on how Mead’s inclusion would mean for the halves, he said Mead has the experience to boost their attack.
“Just having his talk outside of me there will help a lot, just little things in attack and defense and try my best to kick towards my corner.
Meanwhile, Dan Russel has been moved to second row to make way for David Mead for this Saturday’s International clash against the Great Britain.
Stargroth Amean will start at wing. Moses Meninga has been named on an extended bench. Rhyse Martin retains the captaincy.
The 20-man squad: Alex Johnston, Edene Gebbie, David Mead, Justin Olam, Stargroth Amean, Kyle Laybutt, Watson Boas, Wellington Albert, Wartovo Puara Jr, Luke Page, Nixon Putt, Daniel Russell, Rhyse Martin (Captain)
Interchange: Edwin Ipape, Garry Lo, Stanton Albert, Moses Meninga, Stanford Talita, Enock Maki and Terry Wapi
Coach Michael Marum will confirm the final 17 an hour before kick off at 5.30pm on Saturday at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
The first game at 3pm will see the Oil Search PNG Orchids take on England WRL in the 2nd Test of the Two Test series. The gates at Oil Search NFS open at 11am.
Meanwhile, Great Britain who flew in to Port Moresby Tuesday are expecting a tough challenge from PNG LNG Kumuls on Saturday.
Great Britain assistant coach Ian Watson said: “I am looking forward to a strong challenge from our opponents (Kumuls) this weekend.”
Watson said PNG Kumuls got some really good players that the Lions need to be aware of.
“It is going to be a really interesting game against PNG Kumuls on their home ground.
PNG played really well against Fiji last weekend.
They were very hard to each other so we have to be in our best physically and mentally because they will test us with something different,” he said.
Watson told a media conference that the Kumuls will test them with a different game than what they are normally accustomed to.
Despite the three losses, Watson said: “We need to make sure to get a win and finish off on a high note in the series.”
He added that they improved in the first Test when they played New Zealand.
“But last week we took a little bit step back and we didn’t execute as we didn’t do our game planning well,” he said.
“We are about to fix a few things this week in training and look forward to the game against the Kumuls.
It is important for us to fix up what we did wrong last week and we need to focus on ourselves.
We will really be looking at PNG to set up and fix ourselves and make sure that we will be right to go into the game,” Watson said.
Tom Burgess said it is my first time in Papua New Guinea and it’s beautiful to see the warm welcome on arrival at the airport with people in traditional attire.
“I am looking forward to get on the ball over the weekend to complete the series test match with the home team, PNG LNG Kumuls.
“We know that Kumuls have a lot of quality players and one of them I know very well is Alex Johnston,” he said.
He added that Johnston is a top quality player so we have got to play our game and we will not take any line off.
“Justin Olam and Edene Gebbie are also strong and very fast.
They will be fast on their feet so we will expect that from the Kumuls,” he said.
The game will be televised ‘live’ by EMTV throughout Australia and Great Britain.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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