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PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka today announced the Oil Search PNG Orchids squad for Rugby League World Cup after it was finalised by coach Dennis Miall following Friday’s warm-up match in Innisfail, Australia.

The 24-player Oil Search PNG Orchids squad (in alphabetical order) is:

1. Elvinah AARON – Southern
2. Helen ABAU – Southern
3. Delailah AHOSE – Southern
4. Della AUDAMA – Southern
5. Akosita BARU – Northern
6. Christie BULHAGE – Highlands
7. Brenda GORO – Southern
8. Carol HUMEU – Southern
9. Shirley JOE – Northern
10. Martha KARL – Northern
11. Gloria KAUPA – Highlands
12. Naomi KAUPA – Southern
13. Amelia KUK – Brisbane, Australia
14. Joan KUMAN – Southern
15. Grace MARK – Northern
16. Mala MARK – Highlands
17. Janet MICHAEL – Southern
18. Cathy NEAP © – Southern
19. Anne OIUFA – Highlands
20. Vanessa PALME – Southern
21. Fay SOGAVO – Highlands
22. Jazmyn TAUMAFAI – Brisbane, Australia
23. Vero WAULA – Southern
24. Maima WEI – Southern

“This is the first time our women’s rugby league team will participate in a World Cup and we wish them all the best as they represent PNG. We are grateful for the support from Oil Search Ltd who are the inaugural partners for this national side,” Tsaka said.

“Oil Search, as a proud PNG company, is pleased to be associated with the Orchids as they participate in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup for the first time,” Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten said. “The matches will be played in Sydney and we will give every support to the team whilst they are in Sydney. Coming off a win in Innisfail last weekend, their first game away in Australia, shows that the women are ready to take on the world. We will be right behind them all the way,” Botten added.

Mt Hagen-born Amelia Kuk has been included in the squad. The 21-year-old debuted for the Australian Jillaroos in last month’s women’s Prime Minister’s XIII clash in Port Moresby but missed out on selection for the Jillaroos’ World Cup squad.

“We contacted her and she was over the moon to join the PNG Orchids,” coach Dennis Miall said. “She was here last month and got on well with the PNG Orchids so she will not be new to the players. Her inclusion brings that experience to our side.”

Kuk joins fellow Queensland resident player Jazmyn Taumafai as the two overseas-based players in the Orchids squad. “Taumafai cemented her spot with an impressive performance in last Friday’s 30-6 win over Far North Queensland All Stars in Innisfail,” Miall said.

The squad will assemble in Port Moresby next week to prepare for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup which kicks off in Sydney on 16 November 2017.