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PNG league great’s big announcement

Papua New Guinea Kumuls captain David Mead will not be playing at the Rugby League World Cup this year.

The 33-year-old has announced his retirement from international games and this weekend’s game against the Fiji Bati will be his last in a Kumul’s jumper.

This means that more than ever, the Kumuls will be looking to give their captain a farewell that he deserves.

Mead would like to leave the international scene on a victorious note. The last meeting between the two Pacific rivals was a two point ball game.

PNG Kumuls when they last faced Fiji two years ago. Picture: PNGRFL

Mead has already asked new Kumuls coach Stanley Tepend to give his World Cup spot to one of the growing band of young players.

“I just thought it would be a good opportunity for a young 19 or 20-year-old player to get a chance to showcase their talent so I think it is better for them to put on that jersey and get a good career out of it,” Mead told NRL.com.

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“That opportunity was given to me at that age, as well, so I think it would be pretty good to do that for them as well.

“I spoke to several family members a couple of months ago and I feel that now is the right time to say it because PNG is where it all started for me, so I wanted to say something this week while the camp was on.”

Mead was 19 years old when he first donned the Kumuls colours for the 2008 World Cup.

The tournament launched Mead’s NRL career and he played 147 matches for the Titans from 2009 to 2016, 58 for Catalans and played another 25 for the Broncos, as well as featuring in three World Cups in 2008, 2013 and 2017. Mead is yet to make a decision on his NRL career.

Papua New Guinea Kumuls captain David Mead (R) will not be playing at the Rugby League World Cup this year. Picture: PNGRFL

The 20-man Kumuls squad chosen to play Fiji on Saturday night is drawn exclusively from the NRL or Queensland Cup.

The Kumuls would definitely be fired up and if the Bati are not careful, the Kumuls could very easily demolish the Fijians. The match is all set for this Saturday at Campbelltown in Sydney.

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