Sport: Wellington Albert finally set for PNG Hunters debut

12:17 pm on 11 March 2017

Vice captain Wellington Albert is set to finally make his Papua New Guinea Hunters debut in tomorrow's home opener against the Easts Tigers in Port Moresby.

The PNG Hunters squad will be missing some big names in 2017, including co-captain Noel Zeming (c).

The PNG Hunters squad will be missing some big names in 2017, including co-captain Noel Zeming (c). Photo: PNG Rugby League

The PNG Kumuls international missed last week's opening win against Central Queensland Capras with a sternum injury.

He played against the Hunters in a pre-season match last year for the Penrith Panthers and was a part of the Hunters wider squad three years ago, but never played in the Intrust Super Cup.

After failing to crack the NRL, he's returned to PNG and will become Hunter number 50 when called on from the bench at the National Football Stadium.

"Ive been working out for the whole pre-season to play that first game and unfortunately I didn't play so, while sitting on the bench and watching the boys, I was really uncomfortable to sit down and watch but my chance came this weekend so I'll give it my best."

The Hunters only won four games on the road in 2016 but made a winning start in Rockhampton last weekend.

Assistant coach Nigel Hukula said there was still plenty of room for them to improve.

"We're probably not different from most of the other sides, we just lacked a little bit of cohesion and that's just getting used to each other. We've only played the one trial game [before last weekend] so credit to the boys for sticking around right up to the end," he said

"We're probably going to look a lot more on our defensive efforts - just making sure we get off the line and make some contact, so we've been working on that throughout the week."

Hukula said the Easts Tigers are a Melbourne Storm feeder team, with a handful of NRL squad players and they're up for the challenge.