NATIONAL selectors have named a number of “top gun” players in a bid to resurrect the spiraling form of the Papua New Guinea team on the IRB World Sevens Series circuit.
Goroka powerhouse Yaisuo Giheno, Kavieng’s Eremas Simba, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Kori Chan, Madang journey-man Joseph Wamapiri and Mendi Muruks try-scoring freak Wesley Benny give a new outlook to the training squad. Probably the stand-out “gun’’ selection would have to be the explosive finishing power of Pukpuk wingers Richard Mark and Gina Ponda together with rising bolters David Eri and Emmanuel Auru.
The 22-man squad was selected after stand-out performances during the recent MRDC PNG Sevens and throughout the year, monitored under the national development squad.
The squad will form the basis of next year’s proposed tournaments.
PNGRFU chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili jnr yesterday outlined the tournaments earmarked for 2007 were the Darwin Sevens, Fiji Sevens, IRB Wellington Sevens (February 3-4) and the Pacific Games (August).
Tsiamalili jnr said due to the Fiji Sevens being held at the same time as the Darwin tournament on January 19-20, they are just waiting on latest developments to decide which one to attend.
“The Fiji Sevens is not back on the World Sevens circuit but it is a sanctioned IRB second-tier satellite tournament,” he said.
“The Fijians are inviting all the best in the South Pacific and should prove to be a great stepping stone for the team when it is finalised,” he added.
With the form of the PNG Sevens side at its lowest ebb on the world scene…national selectors and national coach Sailosi Druma are searching for those “gun’’ players to make a difference.
A team of 12 will be finalised over the next six weeks.
The PNG Sevens squad: Eremas Simba, Yaisuo Giheno, Alex Haija, Stephen Iko, Aaron Miai, Daniel Siaguru, Willie Rikis (forwards/strikers), Jack Maraha, Joseph Wamapiri, Adeck Naio, Kori Chan, Matagal Tamilong, Douglas Guise (play-makers), Gina Ponda, Richard Mark, Consie Lumaris, David Eri, Roland Namo, Emmanuel Auru, Karo Kauna, Laseng Pasen, Wesley Benny (runners/finishers).
All players are required to contact the Rugby PNG office on phone 323 4212 for further information.