Junior Hunters eyed


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.”


  • Why should we waist another money while we have Digicel Cup Competition in PNG, Where are we taking these players from Digicel Cup when we have feeder club for Hunters in the intrust super cup?

  • Great pathway for the PNG rugby league. The NRL Clubs are really keen on recruiting young players so the Junior Hunters team will benefit from this exposure. It can also be a pathway for the players to come straight to the Hunters program or the Digicel club as they are being exposed to high level competition week in week out and also travelling to queensland every fortnight to play. It will give another 17 of our youths employment opportunities so this is just massive for the game and gives our PNG NRL bid further strenght as we show the NRL that we have the pathway all the way from the grassroots which is PNG affiliated leagues all the way to the Digicel Club and confederate levels.

  • This is a brilliant idea.. Please give first preference to the School boys and also need to roll out the school boys league throughout the country. this could help.

    Congratulation to Sandis Tsaka & the team

  • The way to go PNGRFL. All the other QRL Clubs has their own U20 now we are getting somewhere. That’s the only way to up another level.

  • Brilliant Idea! Highly support the idea and ensure that it become reality. This will really boost the PNG hunters and Kumul selection. It also gives the young players opportunity for NRL and Super League clubs

  • Having the U20 Hunters team sounds like a good pathway towards playing in QRL. However having a development team participating in a remote competition requiring huge funds to participate is not a good idea because who is going to fund it? Rather would be good to have local development competition which is less costly to manage and make it successful which feeds into the Senior Hunters competition and not some free rides to Australia through such luxury arrangements which may require Government support when country is already struggling economically. Lets raise the local competition Digicel Cup and perhaps U20 school boys or so to feed the Hunters Team.

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