Oro serious about footy

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday August 7th, 2013

 NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa is confident that his province will be one of the first franchises in the 2014 PNG National Rugby League-run Digicel Cup.

Juffa in an email to The National confirmed that an Expression of Interest was submitted last month to PNGNRL.

Oro will be the second franchise from the Papua region joining the Gulf Isapea and Port Moresby Vipers. 

Other franchises in the semi-professional competition are the Goroka Lahanis, Rabaul Guria, Lae Tigers, Enga Mioks, Simbu Lions, Mount Hagen Eagles, Mendi Muruks and Hela Wigmen.

It is also understood that another side from the capital, the National Capital District Lagatois is also bidding for inclusion in the 2014 Digicel Cup.

As a former PNG Rugby Football League executive, Juffa’s aim is to to develop league in Northern and the country and to raise the standard of the game.

Juffa said the Oro provincial government will inject substantial funds for the new franchise with the support of a major sponsor.

The franchise will be known as the Oro Otohus. 

In the local Oro Kaiva dialect Otohu means the chief.

He said a board and team management had yet to be put in place to manage the franchise but the side would be based in the provincial capital, Popondetta.

“Currently we do have a field and we are working on building public utilities and stands,” Juffa said.

He said recruitment of players had yet to be determined. 

“We shall certainly use the Popondetta league sides as feeders but will primarily depend on players from other provinces until such time as we are able to improve the level of rugby league in Oro.”

He said rugby league would be introduced in schools in the province to start developing talent from an early age to set the basis for homegrown players.