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Kumuls back-rower Rhyse Martin.

Having jumped from the NRL to Super League mid-year, Rhyse Martin is adamant the English competition almost stacks up to the standard Down Under.

And the Papua New Guinea captain is backing an England team mainly comprised of Super League players to prove it in the World Cup 9s tournament at Bankwest Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

"I loved every game I got to play [in the UK] - I think the Super League level is not far off the NRL," Martin, who left Canterbury for Leeds in June, told

"I think England are going to show some great class and potential this weekend. It's going to be exciting."

The likes of Canberra-bound half George Williams, ex-Warriors custodian Sam Tomkins, Test force Jermaine McGillvary and try-scoring whiz Ash Handley are among the Super League talent on show for England, while Gareth Widdop joins Warrington next year.

Graham out to give Widdop a winning Australian farewell

Martin is signed to the Rhinos, who are captained by former NSW lock Trent Merrin, until 2021 and has adapted well to the move.

"That [attacking] style of footy suits me. The team itself, all the playing group there made me feel welcome from day one," he said.

The 26-year-old, whose father was born in Papua New Guinea, will lead the nation for the first time at the World Cup 9s.

"When I got named captain last week, just the way the team reacted meant more than anything," Martin said.

Terry Wapi celebrates a try for the Kumuls.
Terry Wapi celebrates a try for the Kumuls. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"Getting the respect from your teammates is what everyone wants. That made it even more special... I'm always very honoured and proud to put the PNG jersey on."

Papua New Guinea outside back Terry Wapi is one to watch at the Nines following some strong displays for the PNG Hunters in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup this season.

Wapi scored a try on Test debut against Samoa earlier in the year and is a popular figure in the national side.

"It was a new thing for me to play in a game of this standard, a dream come true. All my family and friends are very proud," Wapi said.

The softly-spoken Wapi had his teammates in stitches at the start of Nines camp when he revealed a new moniker.

"We got together on the Monday and we all went through our names and where we're from and everyone put their nickname up," said Martin.

"He put 'Troy'. We were all sitting there going, 'What is Troy?' and he said it's from the movie [about the Trojan War starring Brad Pitt]. It's just a bit of a laugh.

"I think it suits him well because of the way he plays the game. Very athletic.

"We saw in that Pacific Test how good he is with his footwork, power and speed and I think that's going to suit this weekend. It'll suit a lot of our players.

"Terry will be outstanding for us and hopefully he scores a few under the sticks to get that bonus point."

For ticket and travel packages for the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s Sydney 2019, head to

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