PAPUA New Guinea has been welcoming Warrington rugby league players to its shores since 1975.

So the town will be able to return the favour for the past 46 years when the Kumuls are based in Warrington next October and November for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Three Wire players were in the first England side to play in Papua New Guinea in 1975, the year the Kumuls were formed as a national team.

Parry Gordon, Derek Noonan and try-scorer Dave Chisnall were all on the bench in the 40-12 success on July 6 in the Papua capital city of Port Moresby in front of a declared crowd of 12,000.

Warrington Guardian:

Parry Gordon

Wolves’ Mike Gregory made two visits, scoring a try from the second row in Great Britain’s 42-22 success at the same PNG Football Stadium venue 13 years later.

And then he skippered GB during the 1990 series, the opener being lost 20-18 at Danny Leahy Oval in Goroka on May 27 and revenge being achieved 40-8 in Port Moresby on June 2.

Warrington Guardian:

Mike Gregory

In 1996 St Helens’ Warrington-born winger Joey Hayes and The Wire’s Iestyn Harris and Paul Sculthorpe featured in the 32-30 Lions victory at Lae Oval.

And in recent times the hosting of Warrington players in international sides has resurfaced.

Warrington-born Ed Chamberlain and Tyrone McCarthy joined The Wire’s George King and Joe Philbin in the Ireland side that lost 14-6 in Port Moresby during the 2018 World Cup.

Philbin is in the unique position of having visited three times with three different teams, as he returned in 2018 with England Knights along with clubmates Jack Hughes (tour captain), Tom Lineham, Dec Patton, Toby King, Harvey Livett and Warrington-born Danny Walker, who was then on Widnes’ books.

Warrington Guardian:

And Philbin was in the GB side with with fellow Wolves stars Hughes, Blake Austin and Chris Hill as a 28-10 loss was recorded in Port Moresby last November.

Overseas Wire signings, such as New Zealand’s Duane Mann, represented their country in PNG too.