Kwikila will host Southern region zone trials

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday 03rd April 2013


THE Southern region forum has agreed to revive the zone concept to tap into raw rugby league talent.

The forum was organised by PNG Rugby Football League Southern director Gwaibo Mairi and was attended by leagues from Port Moresby, Central, Gulf and Popondetta.

Popondetta will no longer be a part of Northern Zone as their executives welcomed being included in Southern.

The proposed Southern Zone trials will be staged at Kwikila Station, Rigo, Central.

Present were Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko,  PNG Rugby League Foundation CEO Brad Tassell and former league great and businessman Dadi Toka, who aired their concerns during the forum at the Holiday Inn last Thursday. 

Leading Southern league admini­strators Ripa Kalama and Jack Ke­dea were instrumental in the revival of the zone concept.

Mairi said the aim of the forum was for the leagues in Southern region to affiliate to the PNGRFL before June.

He said Popondetta and Kerema were making a comeback to be an affiliated member of the national body and to take part in sanctioned championships and tournaments after more than 10 years in the wilderness.  Alotau, Kiunga and Daru are expected to join soon.

Mairi said the zone concept was the only way to identify, expose and market the talent in rural leagues so theyc were recognised by PNGRFL.

“The semi professional Digicel Cup was only for a minority who were selected for the PNG Kumuls and to revive the zone concept will give opportunities to the rural grassroots talents in affiliated leagues,” the Southern director said.

Popondetta president Anko Va­ma­ge said this had brought confidence back in their league after 12 years in the doldrums.