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“It hurt a lot” – Former Leeds Rhinos man James Segeyaro left out of Papua New Guinea squad

James Segeyaro is never far off making the headlines.

A brilliant player to watch such is his speed around the ruck, he’s best remembered for his short stint at Leeds in 2016 when it comes to British fans.

As the Rhinos struggled that season, Segeyaro was drafted in as part of a swap deal that sent Zak Hardaker to Penrith and allowed Segeryaro to rekindle Leeds’ season as he scored six tries in 10 games as the Rhinos finished the year strongly.

He looked set to be a key player for Leeds in 2017 after signing a two-year deal, Segeyaro then began to suffer from home sickness and left the club and his number nine shirt in a twist that stunned Leeds fans and upset many Rhinos fans.

In the end it all worked out with Matt Parcell joining Leeds and helping them to the Super League title with a record breaking number of tries for a nine in Super League.

Since then Segeyaro has had an up and down time down under making his 150th NRL appearance in 2019 before being suspended.

However, in 2022 he is back in the mix and after impressing in the NSW Cup returned to the NRL with Manly.

He felt that this would be enough to return to the Papua New Guinea squad for the first time in three years however he confirmed on Instagram that he has not been selected for the World Cup outlining how devastated he is to be left out.

He said: “Hey guys, just addressing quickly a few questions that have been asked around whether or not I will be a part of the Kumuls World Cup squad.

“Sadly, I was informed earlier this month that I would not be part of PNG’s plans moving forward.

“It hurt. A lot.

“I’m extremely proud of my heritage and that Kumuls World Cup jersey has been something I have been
chasing for years now as I slogged to make it back to the game I love.

“In full transparency, I felt personally like I had done enough to make the side. Fighting back into an NRL system, being fortunate enough to play for Manly this year alongside some of the best in the game and spend the full season playing my heart out for Blacktown, largely injury free…I truly thought I had done enough.

“The coaching and selection staff did not. It is what it is, I’m not one to hang my head and cry about stuff like this.

“It sucks. I’m disappointed – gutted actually. But I’m still going to be cheering for the boys from home nonetheless.

“I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and no matter where my journey goes from here,
know I did everything on my end to give myself every opportunity.”

PNG should still have a strong squad and are being tipped to make the quarter-finals where they could meet England or Samoa.

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