The National, Monday, May 2, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
DIGICEL Cup is set for a bigger and better intercity rugby league season this year with their launch in Port Moresby on Saturday.
John Mangos, Digicel PNG CEO said the mobile phone company aimed to give fans a quality product and to improve the competition and the sport.
“Digicel is passionate about the development of sports in PNG and rugby league is clearly the sport of the people.
“As one of PNG’s leading mobile service provider, this is a natural fit for us with the country’s premier national tournament followed by thousands of fans right across the country,” Mangos said.
“The 2011 tournament will be bigger and better than previous years and each of the 10 teams, their franchise owners, sponsors and players are making a huge contribution to the sports.
“We thank PNGNRL board for giving us (Digicel) the opportunity.
“The timing is perfect for us to take sports into the next level,” he said.
“I wish the teams all the best in the exciting campaign ahead and invite the fans to come and enjoy the Digicel Cup.”
PNGNRL chairman Don Fox thanked Digicel for coming on as the competition’s major sponsor.
“We look forward to working with Digicel over the coming season to make this tournament grow even further and bring Digicel Cup action to even more people in PNG.
“The competition was great with nine teams last year but will be even better with 10 and hopefully next year, we should have 12 teams.”
Meanwhile, PNGNRL will embark on a junior competition, and U18 NRL competition to be played under each franchise to develop junior players from each team.
“We have to give something back to the youths and an U18 competition will be a great initiative for the youths in the country today,” Fox said.
He said PNGNRL was hoping for teams from Kimbe, Central and Bougainville.
“We want to bring back Bougainville who have been through so many hardships over the last 20 years, and such a competition, would revive and strengthen the code in those areas where it used to have a good following,” he said.