The first end-of-season representative match for 2016 will kick off on Saturday afternoon when the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII takes on the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
The Australians will be captained by the Rabbitohs’ own Greg Inglis, capping a big year of representative honours and captaincy roles for the South Sydney leader.
‘GI’ is of course the captain of the Rabbitohs on a weekly basis, however he also led the Indigenous All Stars team in February of this year, and will lead the team in green and gold in PNG on Saturday.
The Australian side is a particularly strong outfit and is being used as a trial match of sorts by Australian Coach Mal Meninga for his Four Nations squad at the end of the year.
12 of the 18 players selected for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII side have represented Australia or their state in State of Origin previously.
They will be coming up against a side that is made up mainly of players from the PNG Hunters side which competes in the Intrust Super Cup based out of Queensland, with a smattering of NRL experience thrown in to strengthen the side.
The Cowboys’ Ray Thompson, and Titans’ Nene MacDonald and David Mead have been selected in the PNG squad, alongside Wartovo Puara Jnr who spent a summer training with the Rabbitohs in 2015.
Despite being completely dominant on paper, the Aussies can expect a very tough hit out against the Papua New Guineans, playing in an environment like which they will never have experienced before.
A comfortable win is expected for the Australians, along with many ice packs for the bumps and bruises they will suffer from the heavy defence expected to be dished out by PNG.
The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII side is:
1) James Tedesco (Tigers)
2) Semi Radradra (Eels)
3) Greg Inglis (c) (Rabbitohs)
4) Josh Dugan (Dragons)
5) Blake Ferguson (Roosters)
6) Mitchell Moses (Tigers)
7) Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
8) Aaron Woods (Tigers)
9) Jake Friend (Roosters)
10) Ryan James (Titans)
11) Boyd Cordner (Roosters)
12) Tyson Frizell (Dragons)
13) Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
14) David Klemmer (Bulldogs)
15) Moses Mbye (Bulldogs)
16) Dylan Napa (Roosters)
17) Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
18) Matt Moylan (Panthers)
Coach – Mal Meninga
The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII squad is:
Muka Peter Kulu
Wartovo Puara Jnr