By KEITH PUARIA
PROPERTY development specialists, Consap Developers, fronted up last Friday with a cheque for K100,000 presented to the PNG Rugby Football Union for junior rugby development.
Managing director George Constantinou Jr handed over the cheque to PNGRFU joint vice president, Robert Nilkare at the Airways Hotel.
“Consap is excited about this involvement for the first time, with the juniors in this magnitude. It is a sign that we are serious about building rugby from the juniors,” Constantinou said.
“The Consap logo will be the banner to building the country’s rugby future through the juniors. We see the direction of rugby for the future very consistent.”
Tied in with the sponsorship is the Under20 preparation ahead of the Junior World Trophy in Moscow, Russia in May.
This will also include the team’s participation, which will be known Consap U20s at the Coca-Cola Super 5s in March.
Components of the sponsorship have also been dedicated to the development, expansion and establishment of junior rugby in PNG, especially in the Highlands and the New Guinea Islands region.
Nilkare thanked Consap on behalf of the PNGRFU, for the gesture, saying the sponsorship would also cover the growth of juniors, outside of the main centres of Port Moresby and Lae.
“The sponsorship comes with a vision and PNGRFU is very grateful,” Nilkare said.
Junior rugby has produced some of the best talents who went on to represent PNG, in the late 1980s, through to the early 1990s, but its extinction caused setbacks in the player base.
The Supporters Club Rugby Union Morobe (SCRUM) have been at the heart of junior development in the province over the past decade.
However, junior rugby around the country had died, extending the gap between the pool of players from one era to another, especially for selections to national and international meets.
A 30-strong squad for the Consap U20s was finalised last week after selection trials in Port Moresby, and have been in training for their first match at the SCRUM Oval in Lae, Morobe province.