THE Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) yesterday endorsed and acknowledged South Pacific Brewery as the principal sponsor of the inaugural Pacific Cup in Port Moresby next month.
The SP Brewery Pacific Cup 2009 will see Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands compete for the chance to join Australia, New Zealand and England in the 2010 Four Nations tournament.
Momentum continues to build around the newest event on the international rugby league calendar, with yesterday’s announcement a strong show of corporate support from the host nation.
“SP Brewery is an iconic brand in PNG and a long time supporter of rugby league, so to have their support is a tremendous boost,” RLIF chairman Colin Love said.
“The Pacific Cup is set to lay the foundation for the future development of the game in PNG and its Pacific neighbours.
“SP Brewery committing their support is another positive step as we head towards the tournament’s kick-off next month,” Love said. SP Brewery has been a driving force in developing rugby league in PNG, highlighted by a 21-year commitment as naming rights sponsor for the country’s premier competition.
SP Brewery general manager Stan Joyce said the company was proud to be associated with the ongoing development of Pacific nations’ rugby league through its sponsorship of the 2009 Pacific Cup.
“This new and exciting competition to bring together the best league players in the Pacific region will definitely elevate the game and SP Brewery was excited to be part of this new concept,” Joyce said.
Tonga, Fiji and PNG already have their place in the draw confirmed, while Samoa and the Cook Islands will stage a Pacific Cup qualifying match in Cairns on Oct 17 to determine the remaining position.
The four Pacific Cup matches will be held at the Lloyd Robson Oval over the weekends of Oct 24-25 and Oct 31, with the final to be played on Nov 1.