Four Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players will fly out for Cairns on Wednesday as part of the first leg of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII trip to Papua New Guinea.
Jake Trbojevic, Api Koroisau, Dylan Walker, and Tom Trbojevic will pull on the green and gold under Australian Coach Mal Meninga for the annual clash with PNG at the National Football Stadium this Saturday.
The trip to Cairns will see the Australian team take part in a Men of League PM’s XIII Dinner at Brothers Leagues Club before travelling to Port Moresby on Thursday.
It will be the third consecutive year Jake Trbojevic has represented the Australian PM’s XIII, and a first for Walker, Koroisau, and Tom Trbojevic.
Players are chosen from teams not involved in the NRL finals series. Tom Trbojevic is the only player in the PM’s XIII team to have not played a representative match at senior level.
Koroisau said he was looking forward to pulling on the green and gold after representing his native Fiji in Test matches since 2013.
“It is a real honour to be selected in the PM’s XIII team, and it’s nice to be in the minds of the Australian selectors moving forward,’’ Koroisau said.
“I will just go out there and do my best for Mal and the team, and see what happens from there.
“It is going to be an awesome experience and I feel lucky to be able to share it with Dylan, Jake, and Tom.
“From what I hear about the PNG fans, they are very passionate and just love their rugby league, so I am looking forward to the experience.”
Walker said Koroisau fully deserved his opportunity in the green and gold.
“Api has so much energy and does so many selfless things for his team-mates. We all know what he can do and he is a very special player,’’ Walker said.
“He has had a tremendous season at hooker. When he wants to tackle you, he really drives that shoulder in to hurt you. Api is one of the toughest players I have every played with.”
Australian Prime Minister's XIII squad
1. James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
2. Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)
3. Josh Dugan (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
4. Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
5. Valentine Holmes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*
6. Jack Bird (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*
7. James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
8. Aaron Woods (c) (Wests Tigers)
9. Api Koroisau (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)*
10. Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*
11. Tyson Frizell (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
12. Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)
13. Jake Trbojevic (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
14. Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
15. David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
16. Dylan Walker (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)*
17. Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
18. Paul Vaughan (St George-Illawarra Dragons)*
*Denotes PMXIII debut
Manly Players who have represented the PM’s XIII (as Sea Eagles players)
2006: Brett Stewart, Matt Orford; 2009: Michael Robertson, Glenn Stewart, George Rose; 2010: Tony Williams, Chris Bailey; 2014: Brenton Lawrence, 2015: Jake Trbojevic, Tom Symonds, 2016: Jake Trbojevic