By GABRIEL LAHOC
PNG Rugby Football Union (PNGFRU) is set to roll out the red carpet for the best of rugby union talent around PNG in the Super 5s tournament (formerly Super 4s), set to kick-off on March 31, at the SCRUM Oval in Lae, Morobe province.
The financial foundation for the March event came in the form of a whopping K100,000 cheque, courtesy of soft drink giant and long term Super 4s challenge sponsors Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA).
“On behalf of the PNGRFU, I would like to thank Coca-Cola Amatil once again for their generous sponsorship of this prestigious event, the National Coca-Cola Rugby Super 5s,” PNGRFU president Richard Sapias said.
“Obviously, such an event is not possible without a major sponsor and who better to sponsor the national rugby championships than the most recognised and popular soft drink in the world, Coca-Cola Amatil,” Sapias said.
After four years as major sponsor of the Super 4s tournament, which featured four regions of PNG, the inclusion of the National Pukpuks U20 team will spice up the tournament, which resulted in the name change.
Closely associated with sporting development over the years, national marketing manager Louise Maher said the CCA recognised the growth of the code – evident now was the inclusion of talented youngsters.
These youngsters would face stiff competition from their older opponents in the Southern Traders, the New Guinea Islanders, the Highlanders and the Northern Reds.
While all teams have not confirmed their individual sponsors, PNGRFU is excited with the new five-team format and 12-day round-robin schedule from March 31 to April 11.
“This has been a marvelous partnership and we look forward to working with Maher and her team for a successful tournament,” Sapias said.
The cheque presentation ceremony at the SCRUM oval in Lae was witnessed by CCA Super 5s committee members Naka Songake, Robin Tarere, Billy Rapilla and CCA officials.
Five teams will face off in a round robin competition over the two weeks and each team will play four games against each other.
The team which finishes at the top of the table wins.