Great Britain’s Joe Philbin says the whole squad is relishing the experience of staying in Papua New Guinea ahead of Saturday’s Test, and revelling in the star treatment they’re receiving.
The Lions touched down in PNG this week and have enjoyed a first-hand experience of the nation’s passion for Rugby League.
Warrington prop Philbin enjoyed a taste of the culture as an England Knights tourist last year.
He said: “I was excited for all the lads who hadn’t witnessed it to see because it’s a once in a lifetime thing, unless you get to do it twice!
“They’re making the lads feel like we are Premier League footballers. Everyone is obsessed with Rugby League in the country and it’s fantastic.
He continued: “We have a school visit planned and the lads will then realise what it means to the people in this country.
“They are so passionate and love it so much. Hopefully if the game is sold out over the weekend like promised you will be able to hear how passionate they are.
“It’s one of the loudest stadiums I have ever played in. It was deafening, so hopefully we get to experience that.
“The good thing too is that they cheer for both sides, whenever there is a big hit, they love it no matter who gets smashed.”
Philbin added that he’d relish the chance to meet PNG Prime Minister James Marape as part of the trip.
“He is a Rugby League nut, they say.
“It’s the national sport; the only country in the world where it’s the national sport.
“It means so much to them, it brings everyone together.”