Chan takes on the world with PNG league team

COFFS Comets supporters will have an extra reason to follow the rugby league World Cup extravaganza after former player Jason Chan was named in the Papua New Guinea squad.

Chan emerged from the Comets juniors in the late 1990s and graduated to first grade in 2001 as a 16-year-old back-rower, under the guidance of former coach Daryl Rando.

Brenden Pellegrino played alongside Chan and remembers him as a highly-talented player, noted for this strength in breaking tackles and a specialist in backing-up when a try was on.

“Melbourne Storm was on to him early and he was one of the first players they picked up from the North Coast,” he said.

“Then, they put him into a feeder club in Brisbane and he's been to a few clubs in the second-tier competitions since then.

“I think he spent some time with Wentworthville and as recently as this season was a member of the Jim Beam Cup-winning side, Windsor Wolves.”

Chan will be a team reserve when PNG open their campaign against England at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville, this Saturday night.

He'll be the second World Cup participant with local connections after the current Sawtell Panthers centre, Josateki Revueta, was elevated to the Fiji Bati team. Revueta has already played test rugby for his nation and is on the short list for selection when the Bati take on France at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, on November 1.

And local coach Scott Mieni will mentor the New South Wales Indigenous Under-16's when they play two curtain-raiser matches during the tournament. Mieni said two players who began their junior football in the Group 2 competition will be in the side.

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