By JACK AMI
THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) is looking to field an Under-20 SP Hunters team in the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) Hastings Deering Colts competition next year.
The Hasting Deerings Colts is Queensland’s premier U20 rugby league competition.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka told The National after a board meeting yesterday that the country’s rugby league governing body would make its intentions known to QRL in the coming weeks.
“We couldn’t approve that two years ago because of the participation agreement for the SP Hunters (senior team) and were meeting all the costs for our matches away and for visiting teams,” he said.
“However, we felt that now was the right time to field a U20 team to continue developing the game and provide a pathway for young rugby league players in the country.
“We approved it today (yesterday) and a committee will be established to appoint people to oversee and plan this great opportunity for our young players.
“However, the undertaking will also need the support of the private and government sectors.
“As the PNGRFL chairman, this is a proud moment for me to have achieved this as a development pathway which has been somewhat of a missing link to the senior side and the Kumuls over the years.
“We are looking at the next crop of SP Hunters and Kumuls players from the national schools competition, players who are educated with skills and a great understanding of the game. The undertaking completes our pathway development plan for the Intrust Super Cup and beyond.
“All our SP Hunters players are sourced from the Digicel Cup and it’s something we’re proud of.
“Our U20 SP Hunters team will mainly come from the U20 competitions in PNGRFL-affiliated leagues and national schools competition.”
By JACK AMI