SP Brewery, through their attachment to rugby league over the past six decades, wants to keep their association intact with the injection of K155,000 sponsorship of the rejuvenated Pacific Cup in October.
SP Brewery’s general manager Stan Joyce announced the sponsorship in Port Moresby last night, saying the Pacific Cup was a new and exciting competition to bring together the best rugby league players in the region.
The Pacific Cup will see the best of the crop from Tonga, Fiji and PNG, along with either the Cook Islands or Samoa.
The entry of one or the other of the latter two is depended on who emerges the winner in a series of play-offs among the two.
Joyce said that associating the region’s best beer with the “nambawan game” in the South Pacific region would bring rewards for everyone involved in the tournament and make PNG proud in hosting this inaugural competition.
Meanwhile, PNGRFL chairman Albert Veratau said the rugby league hierarchy was honoured by SP Brewery’s naming rights sponsorship of the Pacific Nations Cup.
He said the Pacific Cup was set to lay the foundation for the future development of the game in PNG and its Pacific neighbours.
Veratau said the tournament would be a bi-annual event on the international calendar with the winner of the Pacific Cup progressing to the following year’s prestigious southern hemisphere four-nations’ tournament – the next to be staged next year.
Veratau said the draws have made in line with performances at last year’s World Cup with Fiji ranked number one in the region ahead of PNG, Tonga and Samoa.
The first games kick off on Oct 24, when Fiji plays the winner of the qualifying match between Cook Islands and Samoa and PNG will play Tonga.
A Pacific Cup tournament was in place in the mid 1970s involving PNG, New Zealand Maoris, Victoria and Northern Territory rep teams.