The National, Tuesday October 29th, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
THE Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has clarified their position regarding Papua New Guinea’s entry into the 2014 Intrust Super Cup competition.
QRL competition manager Jamie O’Connor (pictured) said the QRL board of directors had approved PNG’s entry into the 2014 competition subject to certain conditions.
“We are satisfied that PNG has met all of the stipulated conditions, however, there are conditions that relate to the outcomes of the whole of game review that are yet to be finalised,” O’Connor said. “We anticipate that these outcomes will be determined in the coming weeks after which we look forward to formally announcing their entry in Australia.”
“The QRL understands that the ARLC will be furnished with the report relating to the game review in the near future. Once we receive this report and subject to its contents we will then be entering into a participation agreement with PNG.
“I want to assure all PNG fans that this will be finalised shortly and we are looking forward to welcoming PNG into Intrust Super Cup competition in 2014.”
Townsville’s Intrust Super Cup bid is still on track despite the impending inclusion of PNG.
North Queensland Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said his club believes PNG’s impending acceptance into next year’s Intrust Super Cup competition will not affect Townsville’s chances of entering its own ISC team.
The PNG bid made a public announcement last Wednesday that its team would play in the 2014 ISC season, but Queensland Rugby League officials were quick to tell media they had agreed only in principle, with the Australian Rugby League’s Doyle review into Australia’s second-tier competitions still weeks away from presenting its report.
Only then will the QRL decide on expanding Queensland’s premier rugby league competition but Jourdain said Townsville’s bid to enter the 2015 season was still on track despite PNG’s likely 2014 entry.
“It would have been preferential if both teams had been put in at the same time, but we’re still aiming for 2015,” Jourdain, who is on the Townsville bid’s steering committee, said.
Entry into the ISC is PNG’s first step towards its goal of one day fielding an NRL outfit, being the only country in the world which calls rugby league its No.1 sport.