While the East New Britain (ENB) Kaias preparations for the 2016 Export Rugby Championships have been short and limited, the squad has seemingly bonded well.
This year’s team sees the inclusion of players from the Defence Rugby Union Club (DRUC), and Pukpuk forwards Rabbie Namaliu Jnr and Sam Tam Jnr.
“A couple of boys from DRUC are in camp already, expecting Rabbie Jr and Sammy Tam Jr, Friday latest. Their inclusion in the Kaias is to impart experience, skills and knowledge to ENBRFU clubs through our squad members,” said President of ENB Rugby Football Union (ENBRFU), Hubert Minana.
Minana said earlier today in a telephone interview that spirits are high, as this is the first time in a long time that the Kaias will play in a 15s national championships.
He also confirmed Rabaul has prepared well to stage the New Guinea Islands leg of the championships.
“We’ve had hiccups leading to the matches, mainly financial, but we’re not going to let that dampen preparations. I am confident ENBRFU, its stakeholders and supporters will deliver an exciting week of 15s rugby. We’ll do it the Rabaul way; within time, within budget and within discipline,” said Minana.
The Kaias will be up against the New Ireland Drongos, and AROB Rugby Football Union’s Black Orchids.
“NIP Drongos have been our toughest opponents over the years. They have always been an exciting team with good experienced forwards and fast back line. But, Black Orchids could be the dark horses of the championships. We do not know much about them,” said Minana.
The Export Rugby Championships kick off this weekend in all three centres.
ENB Kaias take on the Black Orchids on Saturday at the Maltech Oval in Rabaul.