Funding intact, PNGRFU moves past Waisale Serevi

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PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football Union has closed the chapter on Waisale Serevi, and turned its immediate attention to a review of the sevens performances at Wellington and Adelaide.
President Richard Sapias (right) also confirmed that  a meeting with Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano had resolved to maintain PNGRFU and MRDC’s partnership remaining intact.
The partnership initially was to build from ‘ground zero’ up, in rugby sevens, and work towards qualifying for the Rugby Sevens World Cup in 2013.
With the issue of Serevi now closed, the immediate goal at hand remains the Wellington and Adelaide Sevens post-mortem, which will eventually bring to the surface, the  issues behind the poor performances, as well as bring about recommendations.
Sapias said that it was now important for the union as a whole to sit down and seriously look at ways to ‘bridge the gap’ against the bigger nations, adding that this was a very opportune and important time.
Once completed, the review will be tabled along with recommendations on developing a format and programme which will enable the players and team as a whole, to be more competitive at the next level of competition.
While six months remain before the next challenge at the Oceania Sevens in Darwin, and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, PNGRFU has also opted to open up for input from the unions, in hard-driven steps towards establishing a 12-month sevens programme.
This programme would have to be properly tailored to suit the game and resources available in the country.
“In a country like Fiji, for example, most activity is based on one island, and all they have to do is drive around and maintain their programmes, select squads, and keep them intact throughout the year,” Sapias pointed out.
“Here in PNG, it costs money to bring a team together, look at how much it costs to fly from Buka to here, and then the rest from the other centres.
“Everytime we bring together a squad, we have to find funds to bring them to one point first, and then have the funds to send them away.
“It has been hard. These things cost money, our 12-month programme has to be tailored to the funding we have.”
Sapias, however, added these were challenges, and that the following months would be time used at improvement and being better prepared for the coming events.