by Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
He may be a new face to the Pukpuks and PNG rugby fraternity, but he certainly is no stranger to the code and the number 10 jersey.
The youngest of the bunch, Richard John Aitsi will bear the pressure of being the Pukpuks playmaker at fly half, during the Oceania Cup, this weekend.
This will be his first appearance in the red, black and gold jersey, and the 20 year old Pukpuk is proud to be bearing his nation’s colours.
“I’m honoured to be selected amongst all the boys. I’m injury free and I’m ready to go,” Aitsi said.
While the structure of rugby in Papua New Guinea is a little different to what he is used to, Aitsi says, the team is now at the stage where the gelling of players from centres outside of Port Moresby and PNG is vital.
Aitsi said, “we’re using our structures to work on our game plan, and that’s helping us at the moment. Hopefully we take that into the comp coming up.”
Aitsi also acknowledged the strong competition, that all three nations will bring to the Cup.
“No predictions (for the Oceania Cup), we have three tough opponents, we’re just looking forward to play hard for the country.”
The team will head into camp tomorrow, as they prepare for game one of the Oceania Cup against Tahiti on Saturday at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby.