Greetings to all our rugby league family and welcome to our 32nd edition of Fulltime Reserve, a weekly column to discuss all matters rugby league in our favourite newspaper The National.
As discussed in last week’s column, the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) made a major announcement this week with regard to the SP Hunters programme in preparation for the 2021 Intrust Super Cup season in Queensland, Australia.
Hunters coach Matthew Church yesterday announced his train-on squad together with their training plan and schedules for the pre-season camp which starts in Port Moresby at the end this month.
The pre-season squad will assemble in Port Moresby next weekend and will undergo preliminary medical and fitness tests, and also meet other requirements in lieu of the season 2021 relocation plans before the start of the camp.
Church may be required to bring in additional players not named in the initial squad based on the preliminary testing and the availability of players for the pre-season and the relocation to Australia.
The Hunters will be trimmed down to 30 players before the final 2021 squad is announced and relocated to the Runaway Bay Sporting Facility on the Gold Coast, Australia, for next season.
PNGRFL is confident that Church and his team management will prepare and finalise a great team to represent our country well next season.
The team’s participation in the ISC next year will continue to provide a great platform for the development of our players for further international and representative duties especially with the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
PNGRFL has recognised that whilst the squad’s relocation to Australia will place unprecedented and enormous demands on our players and officials away from home, we are confident that the programmes we are developing to support them will provide great opportunities for everyone involved and the game.
PNGRFL and the Hunters management are engaging with all our local and international stakeholders and partners to provide Church with the support necessary to ensure that the Hunters are prepared for their relocation to Australia so that the transition is effective and smooth.
We are extremely grateful to the ongoing partnership of all our key partners and stakeholders in PNG and Australia who continue to work closely with us to ensure the 2021 campaign is a great success for the club and its supporters in PNG.
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Until next week, may the grace, love and care of our Good Lord be with you.