PAPUA New Guinea has confirmed their participation in seven sports at the Mini Pacific Games in Raratonga, Cook Islands.
The Sept 21-Oct 1 event has attracted all Pacific Games Association member countries including PNG.
Chef de Mission Stan Walker confirmed in an email to The National yesterday that the sports taking part are netball, squash, lawn bowls (men and women), touch rugby, sailing, va’a and rugby sevens.
He said it would cost K2.5 million to send Team PNG, most of which had been raised through various fundraising activities.
The opening ceremony is on Sept 21, while the closing ceremony is on Oct 2.
The tentative schedules for the respective sports are as follows:
* Squash and lawn bowls to be played from Sept 22 to Oct 1;
* Touch football – Sept 23-29;
* Sailing – Sept 23-Oct 1;
* Va’a – Sept 23-26; and
* Rugby 7s – Sept 26-Oct 2.Meanwhile, Rugby PNG has been forced to select their final squad for the Pacific Games in Cook Islands.
The make-up of the squad is part of the larger sevens pool submitted to the PNGSF in May this year, selected from the PNG Kundu Sevens held in Port Moresby in early February.
The pool, being the basis for this final squad provides for a fresh faced side that includes NGI region and Port Moresby sevens talent.
Rugby PNG president Richard Sapias advised, in a release, that they were left with no option but to nominate a team from the list, due to the rigid Pacific Games eligibility rules.
He added that even though this was not an ideal situation and that the alternative of withdrawing was considered, certain circumstances, however, eventually led to Rugby PNG’s commitment.
The side will be coached by PNG Pukpuk XVs captain Willie Rikis and include seasoned campaigners Alex Haija, Buckley Joseph, Adeck Naio, Nelson Daplan and Karo Kauna, Heni Herea, Hubert Vitolo, Alois Bagelo, Leo Tikot, Koini Kidi, Kojo Ware and Albert Levi.
Bougainville duo Hubert Tseraha and Kisu Semoso are the non-travelling reserves, along with Lae-based Joseph Wamapiri.
Sapias also confirmed that last week’s trialists under new sevens director and coach Waisale Serevi, would be the select development squad, which would compete in Fiji’s sevens competitions in two weeks time.
The Mini Pacific Games will be a great opportunity for exposure for the team, filtered with new faces to representative football.
All players are to confirm with Rugby PNG office on phone contact 323 4212 or call 72065752 or 72539764 to confirm details.