Whitehaven have eased fears over new signing Rodney Pora following reports the Papua New Guinea prop would not take up his contract with the club.
It is also claimed he will feature for his country in their clash next month with top Aussie side South Sydney Rabbitohs, which is part of their preparation leading up to the tournament.
But the report is dated December 20, and he has told Haven from his home in PNG that he still plans to join the club.
“I have spoken to Rodney two or three times a week over the past couple of months,” said chief executive Barry Richardson.
“I spoke to him on Monday night and yesterday morning, and he confirmed that he still wants to come to Whitehaven and is progressing his visa.”
Pora recently learned he had passed an English test, taken in early December, that was a pre-requisite for being granted a visa to play in England. And he is now expected at the Recre around the middle of next month.
In the interview, Pora is quoted as saying: “Wearing the PNG colours has been an honourable thing you would not want to miss and I have sacrificed a lot to come this far and I will not let my country down.”