PM wants team in NRL


PRIME Minister James Marape says he is eyeing the inclusion of a Papua New Guinea team in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) in 2025.
He said that during the signing of a release agreement by Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka for the SP Hunters to be under their new board.
The signing was done after the Matthew Church-coached Hunters left the country on Sunday for Brisbane, where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine before relocating to Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast.
“We are preparing for possibility of PNG owning a team in the NRL in 2025,” Marape said.
“That is why the Hunters are becoming an entity of their own and turning into a professional outfit.
“With the Hunters relocating to Australia using their new visa, it will be also easy for them to stay in Australia and play if they secure an NRL contract.
“We can produce more Hunters and send them to Australia.”
The Australian Government, through its High Commission, also revealed that it shared the same goals as Marape and PNGRFL to see a PNG team join the NRL.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp also signed an agreement with PNGRFL, Queensland Rugby League and the PNG Government to help develop the game in the country.
“The prime minister and I were discussing his aspiration to see a PNG team play in the NRL in 2025 on the country’s 50th anniversary,” Philp said.
“It’s great to set some goals and PNG-Australian partnership will help you push for that.”
Marape said the release agreement was a step in the right direction as it would help PNG achieve its dream of having a team in the NRL.


  • Well done, this is an example and an avenue to divert the attention of the youths and try to identify and engage their talent in sports, education or other areas.
    The bulk of the problems PNG is faced is caused by the youths and yet we have given little or no attention so I am happy that this idea has been brought up by PMJM so please give priority attention to youth matters not only for NRL but other areas as well.

  • That is what young Papua New Guineans want in sports is to go beyond and showcase their talents and to create good relationship with Australian young people too. Big thanks PM for the great news….

  • Please PNGRFL put a lot more effort into strengthening our local leagues and competition in the provinces. In order to create and maintain a competitive player pool or base where potential Digicel Cup players and Q Cup players could drwan from. We are currently scratching the surface.

  • No Prime Minister has ever done this. Credit goes to PMJM, you are a history maker. You make things happen and the entire Nation of Papua New Guinea is right behind as you’ve seen it in the recent VoNC. You are a TRUE SERVANT LEADER this country has ever produced.
    Thankyou so much for making it happen for PNG HUNTERS. Our heart is with you all through.

  • This is a great vision. PNG Kumuls have beaten the British Lions and is only its way to be a team to be reckoned with. Export of human resources in the sports and recreation industry is certainly taking shape. I support the vision of the Prime Minister James Marape. Without vision people and the country will perish.

  • there will be less number of PNG players in Australia, because Papua New Guineans are of bad characters where we dont show the real sports men or womenship

  • Playing in NRL is not an issue, the issue is to improve the level of rugby league in PNG at all levels with development programmes and then push for a NRL spot. All NRL clubs are multi millionaire clubs backed by some millionaire companies and individuals so as far the players wages and general operation of the glub is concern consideration is a must for all aspects. Before accepting a team into NRL, some of the things they look at are: financial status of the club, the million dollar company sponsorships and backed up by quality feeder club and the development programmes.

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