Aquis Titans’ record-breaking prop Ryan James has moved a step closer to possible Test selection by being chosen by Mal Meninga in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII to take on Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII in Port Moresby on Saturday week.
The news came on the same day he was one of three Titans players selected in the NRL/NYC academic teams of the year (see separate story).
Meninga has named six debutants in James Tedesco, Semi Radradra, Mitchell Moses, Tyson Frizell, Josh Jackson and David Klemmer who will take their place in the team travelling to PNG next week, with the match to be played at the National Football Stadium in the nation’s capital.
It is the second time James, who last week broke the all-time record of most tries scored by a front-rower in a season with 12, has been chosen in the Prime Minister’s XIII. He played in 50-10 victory in 2013 alongside Titans teammates Kevin Gordon, Aidan Sezer and Greg Bird, and future Titans teammates Jarryd Hayne and David Shillington.
The squad features a majority of current representative players, with Meninga confirming the match would provide an opportunity for players to push for selection ahead of the Four Nations tour at the end of this year and the Rugby League World Cup next year.
"This is an outstanding squad. There are four representatives from the Test match against New Zealand and on top of that, no less than nine of the players were a part of Origin this year,” he said.
“The PNG tours are some of the most enjoyable trips I have been on, but they are no holiday when you run onto the field.
“The PNG boys play a tough and energetic brand of football and they will be well backed by a huge crowd, all willing the home team on.
“Whenever you get the chance to visit and play rugby league in Port Moresby, it’s a special experience and this game will be no different.”
Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis will skipper the Prime Minister’s XIII.
Australian Prime Minister’s XIII:
- James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
- Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels)
- Greg Inglis © (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
- Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
- Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)
- Mitchell Moses (Wests Tigers)
- Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)
- Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
- Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters)
- Ryan James (Gold Coast Titans)
- Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)
- Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
- Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
- David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
- Moses Mbye (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
- Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters)
- Jake Trbojevic (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
- To be confirmed
The team will assemble in Sydney on Thursday