By HENRY MORABANG
Now that the NRL has no plan for expansion rugby league state Queensland has offered a spot for a Papua New Guinea Hunters team to play there the following year.
According to Queensland Rugby League media manager Michael Hillier, he was aware that there had been a submission for a PNG team to enter the competition next year.
The general manager of QRL Ross Livermore and other members of the board were very impressed with the quality of the application and it has been mentioned in the local media here
However, the Papua New Guinea Hunters’ submission failed to meet all criteria.
The QRL is hopeful that the PNG Hunters will successfully re-apply for entry in 2011. The PNG Hunters were not included in the QRL draw released yesterday afternoon, however, it will be a 12-team competition.
Former PNGRFL board chairman Albert Veratau strongly believes that Queensland Cup is more suitable competition and a stepping stone towards fielding a team in the NRL competition.
“Looking into future, the arena will be competitive in Queensland where the senior team and U18 and U16 team will also take part in the Mal Meninga Cup which is a good initiative,” he said.
Veratau said it was the board’s job now to entice corporate sponsor and Government support to field a team.
The former chairman said the NRL chief executive officer David Gallop announced last week that there was no immediate plan for expansion, that expansion plan might not happen in the next five or 10 years, so PNG must seriously consider the opportunity offered by QRL.
“I would be discussing with director of PNG Junior Rugby League Ifisoe Segeyaro and will sit down with Sports Minister and hopefully get NRL Bid Committee to fund the juniors in the QRL competition,” he said.
Veratau said people should seriously question the viability of PNGNRL Bid office where the tax payer would continue to fork out huge sums of money to support the committee and its officers sitting around doing nothing for this country with little or no tangible returns in the immediate future.
PNGNRL Bid Committee strategic adviser and Gold Coast Titans chief executive officer Paul Broughton was against PNG fielding a team in Queensland Cup and is optimistic that NRL would re-open the doors for negotiations for PNGNRL Bid Committee’s dream.