By ISAAC LIRI
THERE is a possibility that the New Zealand Kiwis will travel to Papua New Guinea next year to play a Test against the Kumuls.
This possible arrangement was mentioned by New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Greg Peters during the Rugby League International Federation calendar presentation and announcement yesterday in Port Moresby.
A first timer to PNG, Peters, said the arrangement could be possible as the Rugby League International Federation looks to build the international game.
“With the support from RLIF and PNGRFL, we hope that our New Zealand Kiwis can come up to PNG to play an international in 2020 for the first time in many years,” Peters said
“For New Zealand Rugby League, 1994 was the last time we came up to PNG to play an international Test match so that’s a very long time.”
Peters thinks that playing a Test against PNG would add to the growth of rugby league in the Pacific region.
This year’s RLIF calendar also sees New Zealand hosting more international fixtures than any other country with the introduction of the 2019 Oceania Cup and the British Lions tour.
“A meaningful calendar is very critical and is doesn’t matter what sport you are in.
“For New Zealand it was our first time last year to play Australia in Auckland since 2012,” Peters said.
“So we now have a calendar in place that has some longevity in it and it means that we’re going to have regular contests in our market and also in your (PNG) market,” he added.
“You have to be playing in front of your fans and families to build the brand but we’ve been invisible in this market for a long time but we’re trying to turn it around.”
By ISAAC LIRI