HAPPY: Tim Sheens.
HAPPY: Tim Sheens.

PNG all part of the plan

KANGAROOS coach Tim Sheens has assured Prime Minister's XIII representatives that tomorrow's match against Papua New Guinea is vital to Australia's World Cup preparations.

The match will be played in Kokopo, and the PM's team has won the past five of these contests under Mal Meninga, the Maroons coach now helping out with the Kumuls team.

The Australian representative team is now coached by Meninga's Origin counterpart, Blues mentor Laurie Daley, with Sheens to accompany him, and former Raiders coach David Furner to work as the assistant.

"We wanted as many senior guys to play in it as possible. I know there are guys not selected in it who are still playing in the semi-finals, but this is a quality side," Sheens said.

"Laurie and I are very happy with it, and every one of them is a genuine contender for the Kangaroo tour at this stage."

Sheens added he will not interfere with the running of the team to a great degree.

Daley spoke of his excitement at coaching the PM's team, and will not take the end-of-season clash lightly.

"The fact that it's a World Cup year, and Tim and the selectors are taking it as a serious game, as you can tell by the quality of this squad, it should be a good game of football," he said.

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