The Papuan squad:
Adrian Lam (captain)
|Group 3 news
Papua New Guinea's recent 82-0 thrashing by Australia in Townsville, Queensland will hardly do much for confidence but, drawn in the weakest group of teams, with Tonga, South Africa and France, the Kumuls do have time and matches to regroup and mount a serious challenge for a quarter finals placing.
At least the warmer weather in South West France, where most of the squad's matches will be played, will provide for more hospitable conditions than those which the players have encountered in Wales throughout the 1995 World Cup tournament.
There will be no need to buy heavy woollen overcoats as they did then to protect themselves from the cold!
In skipper and Wigan-bound scrum half Adrian Lam, Melbourne Storm's exciting wing Marcus Bai, and Hull's will o' the wisp stand off Stanley Gene, Papua New Guinea have three players to match the best in most other squads.
But all three could feel the pressure exerted on them to inspire a squad, the bulk of whose players are chosen from domestic competitions in Goroka, Port Moresby and Lae.
The Kumuls' pack will no doubt be somewhat smaller in stature than their opponents but loose forward Tom O'Reilly, Bruce Manama and hooker Elias Pay are accustomed to battling against the odds.
The Kumuls are likely to play adventurous attacking rugby but their ambitions are surely limited to reaching the eight places in the competition.