TALENT scouts from up to six NRL clubs will check out the Residents XIII in Saturday’s clash against South Sydney.
The scouts will flock to Redfern Oval after Adrian Lam’s squad shocked the rugby league heartland with victory in the Cabramatta International Nines tournament last weekend.
Along the way, Lam’s charges, all locally-based players, only conceded two tries.
Recruitment officers who watched the team win last week have spread the word.
Traditionally a cardinal and mrytle affair, Saturday night’s Return to Redfern trial clash will feature some very different faces.
Rabbitohs officials expect hundreds of raucous Papua New Guineans to cheer on the visiting Kumuls, whose every move will be evaluated by talent scouts from rival NRL outfits, the Herald Sun reported.
Despite being the only nation to declare rugby league its No: 1 sport, PNG remains virgin territory for most recruitment officers.
The 20-strong squad that will tackle Souths this weekend is wholly comprised of PNG residents
Dreadlocked prop Esau Siune hails from Chimbu, which is likely to be banned from hosting matches in this year’s local competition because of repeated violence.
It is little wonder Rabbitohs three-quarter Bryson Goodwin was anticipating a physical contest after coming face-to-face with Siune and his team mates at Redfern yesterday.
Along with Siune, halves Dion Aiye and Israel Eliab attracted interest from Sydney-based player agents that could pave the way for NRL contracts.
PNG coach Adrian Lam expects more recruitment officers to flock to Redfern for Saturday night’s game.
“From what I’ve heard there will be about six clubs with recruitment officers here,” Lam said.
“I don’t know why clubs haven’t concentrated on Papua New Guinea more.
“They have become very familiar with the Pacific islands, but no-one from PNG really gets picked-up unless they come to school in Australia first.”
About 2,000 tickets remain available for the clash – one of seven NRL trial games, along with the All Stars clash being held.