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Rhys Martin to become most Capped Kumul Player

 Papua New Guinea FORWARD Rhyse Martin will become the most capped Kumul of all time when he runs out in the Pacific Championships Bowl final against Fiji Bati on Sunday.

The Kumul No.262 will play his 17th Test for Papua New Guinea beating the record jointly held by former Kumul legends Stanley Gene, John Wilshire and Paul Aiton.

Though the former Hull Kingston Rover and Bradford Bull, Gene, was the longest serving Kumul who played between 1994 and 2008, he only played 16 tests while Martin, Aiton and Wilshire all reached 16 tests in their respective 10-year stints in the national colours.

Leeds Rhinos forward, Martin, is only 29, and will probably play at the next world cup in 2025.

“I’ve been playing for Kumuls since 2014 and it’s a pretty special moment for me,” Martin said.

“I remember my first test when we played against Tonga up in Lae and that was an experience I still remember to this day.

“It’s been 10 years, back then I was the only overseas-based player in that team but fast forward to now it’s just a proud moment seeing where the Kumuls are now.

“It’s a good personal achievement for me to play that many games but I’m so happy that I’m still capable of playing and to make the team, it’s just special and I’m proud of that.”

Martin praised Aiton and Wilshire for their achievements as players but more importantly for their contributions as part of coach Justin Holbrook’s staff.

“I have huge respect for them. I was fortunate enough to play alongside Paul (Aiton) but I didn’t have a chance to play with Johnny (Wilshire).

“The experience that they have, they have built the platform for us to get to where we are now and I’m proud of them.

“Big respect for Stanley Gene too. I remember hearing his name when I was little and he’s a legend,” said Martin.


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