Adex Wera has been named at centres in coach Michael Marum’s 20-man extended squad for their Round 19 clash at Piggabeen Sports in Tweed Heads in Brisbane.
Utility Lawrence Tu’u is set to get his first crack at the hookers position in the starting 13 as the Hunters try to end the longest losing streak since joining the Intrust Super Cup competition this year.
Kumul World Cup player Jason Tali, who recently was drafted into the Hunters squad and made his debut off the bench against the Northern Pride in Cairns in Round 18, also gets his first start on the wing.
Marum said they were not hitting the panic button but since returning from the one-week break, the team has been reminded about getting their minds back on the job at hand.
“We had a team meeting after the break and the boys agreed that we
slackened off a bit,” he said, and the team had to re-focus and build for a big finish to the season.
Seven games remain for the Hunters with one a bye in Round 26 before the top five are decided and every game is crucial for the sixth-placed PNG side.
Front row specialists Esau Siune and Joe Bruno and backline utility
Tiger Emere have been ruled out due to injuries while Wartovo Puara and Thompson Teteh will be given until travel time to prove their fitness.
Also named in the squad is Albert Patak, out injured for the last few
weeks, who joins Willie Minoga, Timothy Lomai, Stanton Albert and Edward Goma on the extended bench.
Hunters: 1. Israel Eliab, 2. Garry Lo, 3. Noel Zeming, 4. Adex Wera 5 Jason Tali 6. Dion Aiye, 7. Roger Laka, 8. David Loko, 9. Lawrence Tu’u, 10. Brandy Peter 11. George Benson, 12. Sebastine Pandia 13. Adam Korave. Interchange: 14. Wartovo Puara 15. Wilie Minoga 16. Albert Patak 17. Timothy Lomai 18. Thompson Teteh, 19. Stanton Albert, 20. Edward Goma.