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Rod Griffin to lead PNG Kumuls in Pacific Test against Cook Islands

VETERAN Rod Griffin will captain Papua New Guinea on Saturday in the Pacific test against the Cook Islands.
The 30-year-old, who first represented PNG a decade ago, is currently contracted to NRL club the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in Sydney and plays in the NSW Cup.
Griffin, originally from Wabag, Enga, made his debut as a 20 year old against Wales in 2007 and has gone on to play 10 times for the Kumuls including in last year’s 24-22 win over Fiji on the May representative weekend.
The rugged ball-playing back-rower was also part of the Kumuls 2008 World Cup and 2010 Four Nations squads and has played in the Queensland Cup for the several teams over a 10-year stretch (2005 to 2015) including the Wynnum Manly Seagulls, Northern Pride, Norths Devils, Tweed Heads Seagulls and Ipswich Jets.
Griffin made four Q-Cup grand finals in this time winning two (2010 with the Pride and 2015 with the Jets).
It will be a memorable occasion for him when he runs out at Campbelltown Stadium for the Kumuls for the 11th time but first as skipper.
“I thank coach Michael Marum for giving me the honour to captain PNG in this test. It’ll be great to lead the boys out on Saturday,” Griffin said in a statement. “Captaining your country, there’s nothing like it. Coming into camp, you see the smiles and it gives you the fire in your belly. You see the reason behind why you play, and especially for PNG where everyone loves footy so much, it’s hard to describe the feeling, it’s amazing.”
Griffin joined the Bulldogs this year after spending the past two seasons with the West Tigers.
The secondrower will be assisted on the field by PNG Hunters captain Ase Boas as his deputy.
Meanwhile, the Kumuls’ preparations were dealt another blow when Willie Minoga,  was suspended by the QRL judiciary for two matches for a dangerous throw.
This follows the late withdrawal of St George Illawarra Dragons winger Nene Macdonald on Monday due to an ankle injury sustained in their game against Melbourne Storm.
Coach Marum said from Sydney yesterday that Minoga would return to Port Moresby today.
He will be replaced by fellow PNG Hunter Israel Eliab, who joins the PNG LNG Kumuls in Penrith this afternoon.
Stargroth Amean, who was also cited for a similar offence during Saturday’s 26-10 win over Northern Pride at the NFS, entered an early guilty plea and has been cleared by the QRL judiciary and takes up his position at fullback on Saturday night.
Possible Kumuls team: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Justin Olam 3. Israel Eliab 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Ase Boas (vc) 7. Watson Boas 8. Luke Page 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Henry Wan 11. Rhyse Martin 12. Rod Griffin (c) 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 14.Tommy Butterfield 15. Wellington Albert 16. Nixon Put 17. Richard Pandia
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