January 4, 2015

Kumuls Albert brothers in arms

KUMUL Wellington Albert returned to Sydney on Saturday with his brother Stanton in tow, as the pair look to forge careers in the National Rugby League.
Wellington, 20, spent the Christmas and New Year period in the country after returning from his first year at the Penrith Panthers on December 20.
Stanton, 19, will start a two-year stint with the club following in his brother’s footsteps and both Mendi natives are keen to make the most of their opportunities.
Wellington said he had learned to be patient and persevere in order to reach his goal, which was to play in a NRL match in 2015.
The strapping 193cm winger, who has been included in the Panthers 25-man squad for 2015, said he would be competing for a spot on the flanks after speaking to Panthers chief executive officer Phil Gould and first grade coach Ivan Cleary last month.
“My goal is to play in the NRL this year. Ivan (Cleary) and Phil (Gould) spoke to me about what they wanted from me this year and I just have to train hard and continue to improve and I know I’ll get my chance sooner or later,” Wellington said at Jackson’s Airport on Saturday.
“I’ll be competing against Josh Mansour, Dale Watene-Zelezniak and David Simmonds for the wing spots but with Dale and Josh coming from injury and still in rehab, I’m hopeful I’ll get the call up early.”
Wellington at 107kg has the size to match it with the competition’s biggest and best outside backs with fellow World Cup Kumul and Sydeny Roosters winger Nene Macdonald at 192cm leading a host of giant backs in the 2015 season.
“I played on the wing and at prop last season for the Panthers NYC side as well as centre, so I’m ready to play wherever they want me to
“Personally, I prefer the wing because that’s the position I first started playing.”
He said he expected Stanton to impress in the NYC side this year because of his experience and size.
Stanton is no slouch in the size department, who at a hulking 185cm and 103kg, continues to pack mass onto his impressive frame.
Stanton has played two seasons (2013-14) for the Hela Wigmen in the Digicel Cup and was called into Michael Marum’s Hunters squad mid-way through last season.
He starred for the country’s U19 side at last year’s Commonwealth Games Nines tournament in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was named the player of the tournament.
“I’m so glad that Stanton has joined me at Penrith.
“Ever since we were boys growing up in Mendi, we always wanted to play together in the same club but that didn’t happen until now,” Wellington said.
“He’s (Stanton) going have a good time in the NYC because he’s a very good player. He’s aggressive, he has size, he’s played in the Digicel Cup and the Queensland Cup so I don’t expect Stanton to have any problems.”
The other PNG-born player at the Panthers is first grade hooker James Segeyaro, who was named in the Queensland emerging squad last month.

The National