By Lorraine Genia – EMTV Sport, Port Moresby
Five days out from their biggest gig this year, the PNG Pukpuks have departed for the Hong Kong Sevens.
While the team has a blend of talent who have yet to play on the world stage, former captain Tissa Kautu has said they will play for pride and play their best with the aim of qualifying for the World Sevens series.
Following the announcement of the 15-man extended squad, today a 12-man squad was confirmed in the presence of Sponsor, InterOil Corporation.
Willie Tirang was confirmed alongside Samoan-born Koroseta Veni and Brisbane-based, George Morseu.
Morseu may not be a familiar face to the rugby fraternity here in Papua New Guinea, but the university student from Queensland has stamped his authority in the national sevens team, and he’s here to stay.
He first featured in the InterOil Turagu’s squad last year, in Singapore and he says he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
“It’s an honour to be representing my mother’s side PNG, and taking the field as a Pukpuk. I will be continuing to trial in the PNGsevens as always,” he said.
Willie Tirang, a product of the InterOil Turagu’s sevens development program, is also new to the feel of things.
Representing Papua New Guinea on the world stage isn’t the easiest thing, but it is the best thing to happen to any rugby player in the country, and it is a responsibility only very few handle well.
For Tirang, it’s an experience he won’t take lightly, and one he will make the most of.
The much more experienced lot in the team, Wesley Vali, Hensley Peter, and Tissa Kautu, will all step up to the plate, to assist Captain Henry Kalua in leading the team in Hong Kong this weekend.
The tournament kicks off on Friday, April 8, with finals to be played on Sunday, April 10.