Hunters to be based in Aust


THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) has approved the relocation of the SP Hunters to Australia to compete in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup next season.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said in a statement yesterday that he had advised Queensland Rugby League (QRL) chairman Bruce Hatcher of the decision.
“PNGRFL had been directed by the QRL to consider the option of relocating the Hunters to Australia for next season,” he said.
“This was based on advice from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Queensland Health Department that international travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic would be maintained next year.”
Tsaka said the advice was taken into consideration prior to making the decision which would ensure the Hunters’ participation in the second-tier rugby league competition.
“The QRL advice was that the Hunters risked losing their right to participate in the Intrust Super Cup,” he said.
“PNGRFL was concerned about the long-term risk to PNG’s credibility to bid for future QRL, National Rugby League and/or international rugby league competitions if the club did not participate next season.
“The PNG LNG Kumuls participation and performance at next year’s Rugby League World Cup would also be seriously affected.”
Tsaka said Prime Minister and Sports Minister James Marape had publicly pledged the Government’s support for the Hunters’ relocation.
“PNGRFL acknowledges and appreciates the prime minister and his Government’s commitment for the Hunters to be based in Australia next year,” he said.
Tsaka said in planning for the relocation, PNGRFL and the QRL had undertaken a review of the club’s operations over the last few months to ensure efficiency and sustainability in its management and operations. “As part of this process, the club been restructured to be established as a separate incorporated association with its own independent governance and management structure,” he said.
“PNGRFL has nominated a new interim board comprising Stan Joyce (chairman), ambassador Robert Aisi, Frank Bouraga, Moses Williams, Ruth Waram (independent directors) and the PNGRFL chief executive as an ex-officio member.
“We have confidence that the new board and their management will be able to work with all our existing partners and reach out to new and potential partners to develop a football and business plan that builds on the legacy and success of the Hunters programme to ensure the continued commercial viability and success of the club into the future.”
Tsaka said whilst the decision had been made to relocate, “we realise there is still a lot of work to be done in PNG and Australia to ensure the team’s relocation is smooth and without any major issues”.
He extended PNGRFL’s gratitude to naming-rights sponsors SP Brewery and platinum sponsors PNG LNG for their continued support for next season.
“We are continuing discussions with the Hunters’ other existing partners who have not yet committed to next season and other potential new partners,” Tsaka said.
He said Hunters coach Matthew Church had submitted a programme for pre-season training which was due to start next month.
“Church will make these announcements, including the train-on squad, within the next week or so,” Tsaka said.


  • Would be a good move, to have the hunters team based in Brisbane. There is a heaps of PNG people in Brisbane to support them in their games, also their coach is here. In addition, with the world cup in the horizon this move would be a good preparation for potential players to represent PNG.

  • Good stuff. Will definitely help for the 2021 world cup preparations, but strict discipline and control will be needed down there.

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions more money has to be pumped into sports in particular rugbby which only the players and their close friends and famillies benefit. If Hunters to be based in Brizzie, I doubt Hunters winning more games playing in Australia only…even going into the finals. In the end it’ll be total waste of money. We can groom our own local talents and play in the PNGNRL comp -Digicel cup. If Wigment won this year with new kids on the paddy, I dont’ see reasons why the Hunters dominated teams like Tigers, Vipers, Gurias etc lost to Wigmen.

  • ol hausik na ol skuls lo rural areas lo PNG wantem ol woklaen blol (ol tisa na nurse) woklo krai lo halivim tsol nogat moni lo halivim ol but igat moni lol Hunters go stap base lo Aussie….

    wanpla side igat sunshine na narla side igat bikla tudak yet..

  • Is it necessary and is it a requirement that is uphold in the Constitution to play sports.? This is a total waste of government funds instead of putting more funds to other agencies like hospitals, schools and others. This game won’t benefits everyone of us PNGian. Beneficiary will only to the player and his family. This so call winning a Seal or Trophy will not benefit us all.

  • We are repeating the same mistake of hosting the SP games and APEC meetings spending huge amounts of money, a bad decision and feeling the pain of it now.

  • According to the 2020 NRL policy based on the Pandemic New Zealand Warriors were based in Australia this year to complete their NRL season. The decision around Hunter’s future is based on QRL around the pandemic and is a case of how our rugby league team stand – to die or swim. A great opportunity for local footballers to enhance their experience in Australia on and off the field- Given they are semi pro footballers there will be an opportunity for employment outside their football to support their stay in Australia- This opportunity will only broaden and enhance our footballers and their capacity to participate meaningfully in nation building. The economic benefit of this opportunity will be $$ sent back to their PNG families every fortnight… directly boosting PNG economy.
    As far as school, health center and rural areas in PNG is concern… fingers need to be pointed to politician.. what are they doing… and how are they playing their part in shaping PNG??

  • PNG RFL and PNG National Government are systems and not man, It is man who manages this systems that makes the system to work the way it should be to benefit people. A God fearing man in systems would make systems work the way it should be. All in all, PNG RFL and PNG National Government are in conceptual world and are trying to enter into the real world. Real world requires real God fearing man for better result. Results of past have shown us something, but lets wait this for tomorrow.
    God bless PNG.

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