Standout performances from NSW VB Blues representatives throughout the NRL season have resulted in six players being rewarded with spots in the Prime Minister’s XIII.
Daniel Tupou, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Ryan Hoffman and Beau Scott have all been named in the side with Greg Bird set to captain the team.
NSW VB Blues coach Laurie Daley has been named as coach of the side after the successful State of Origin campaign. The side is set to play the PNG Kumuls on Sunday, October 12 at Kokopo.
Coach Daley sees the match as a great opportunity for rising NSW stars including Josh Mansour, Jack Wighton, Matt Moylan and Sione Mata’utia to gain some valuable representative experience.
“It gives the young guys an opportunity to play with other elite players, and get used to that camp environment,” said Daley.
The coach has high expectations for the trip and is looking forward to heading back to Papua New Guinea, a country in which the Prime Minister’s XIII is yet to taste defeat.
“Thousands turn up at the airport, they love their rugby league players, and they treat them like rock stars,” Daley said.
“They line the streets.”
Blues forward Woods is looking forward to a tough battle. After featuring in the 2012 Prime Minister’s XIII side that defeated Papua New Guinea 24-18, Woods knows victory will not be easily secured.
“They’re like brick walls,” Woods said of the PNG players.
“I can’t wait. I’m pretty excited, it’s always a good experience.
“During the week, they’re in awe, they look up to you, but when you play against them all they want to do is rip into you.
“It’s going to be a fun camp with the five other Origin boys and I’m looking forward to catching up.”
The game promises to be a brutal encounter and is sure to send Papua New Guinea into a rugby league frenzy. The game is expected to attract a sell-out crowd.
Prime Minister's XIII team to play Papua New Guinea at Koroko on Sunday, October 12: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Will Chambers, Sione Mata'utia, Daniel Tupou, Anthony Milford, Ben Hunt, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Josh Papalii, Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott, Greg Bird (c), Michael Morgan, Brenton Lawrence, Josh McGuire, Dylan Napa, Jack Wighton.