PM backs NRL bid


THE Prime Minister and Minister for Sports Peter O’Neill has praised the dedication of the SP PNG Hunters after they won Queensland Rugby League’s Intrust Super Cup for the first time.
Following the success of the PNG Hunters on and off the field, PM O’Neill said the case had been strengthened for a Papua New Guinea team to enter the National Rugby League competition.
“On behalf of our nation I again congratulate the PNG Hunters on their historic achievement in Brisbane,” O’Neill said.
“The Hunters are truly the pride of our nation.”
The Prime Minister said rugby league was PNG’s national sport and the Hunters’ win built the case for a PNG team to be included in the NRL.
“Over the past four seasons the Hunters have demonstrated that they have the depth of player talent to compete at the highest level,” O’Neill said.
“But very importantly, we recognise that entering a team in the NRL also requires the highest level of administrative organisation to manage the team and logistics, and we have demonstrated that we have this capability.”
“I will seek additional meetings between our rugby league officials and the NRL to advance these discussions.
“We know the rugby league community in Australia is behind a PNG team joining the NRL.
“As we see every week during the Hunters games in Queensland, the supporters turn out in their thousands to see the raw rugby league talent that comes from PNG.
“So I ask rugby league supporters, not only in PNG, but also in Australia to get out and support our bid to join the NRL.”
PM O’Neill said rugby league had a golden future in PNG and he thanked everyone who had been involved in advancing the sport.
“This is an exciting time to be a rugby league fan in PNG, particularly with three World Cup games in Port Moresby this year.
“Rugby league helps bring our nation together, and it encourages greater participation by youth in all sports.
“Our rugby league teams also present a most positive image for the country in Australia and beyond.”

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