By MELTON PAIS
PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka and chief executive officer Reatau Rau are in York, England, for the Rugby International Federation’s annual congress.
The RLIF congress started yesterday.
RLIF Southern Hemisphere general manager Jeremy Edwards in his visit to PNG earlier this month announced Tsaka and Rau’s attendance.
“Papua New Guineans need to realise that their country is being represented on a high level and it is important that they benefit from theirn hard work,”Edwards said.
“The 2021 World Cup executives have chosen PNG as their first stop in their tour into the Pacific to deliver the World Cup tournament programme and it’s something significant as a rugby league-loving nation.”
Edwards made these remarks after observing PNGRFL’s progress in upgrading their programme in creating development rugby league divisions from students as young as 10 years to a national schools competition involving girls to set a pathway to the top representative teams — the Kumuls and the Orchids.
Edwards said PNGRFL’s efforts had not been overlooked and he was impressed with how the league had improved and it would be recognised by RLIF.
Edwards said the RLIF was looking forward to growing rugby league in PNG because of its popularity and the willingness of the league to make the changes in terms of its administration and programmes over the last five years.
Tsaka and Rau are expected to return with agreements and committments from the RLIF for PNG as they look to gain more internationls for the PNG Kumuls and its other representative teams off an improved calendar.
“That means we will have PNG Kumuls playing against Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and other Pacific Island countries in preparation for the 2021 World Cup,” Edwards said.
The PNGRFL is expected to make an announcement on the 2019 calendar at the end of the month.
By MELTON PAIS