By KEITH PUARIA
THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) yesterday confirmed that the Coca Cola Super 5s Challenge, formerly Super 4s, will be held at SCRUM Oval Lae, from Wednesday, March 31 to Sunday April 11.
The new tournament format of five teams includes the Southern Traders, Northern Reds, Highlanders, New Guinea Islanders and an Under 20 Development side, who will go through a round-robin of games over the 12 days in Lae.
The announcement also came together with the endorsement of one union from each region, to commence coordination and preparations, to facilitate the respective regional selection trials.
Port Moresby Rugby Football Union (RFU) in the Southern region, Morobe RFU in the Momase region, Goroka RFU in the Highlands region, and the Kokopo-based East New Britain RFU in the New Guinea Islands, were earmarked as the representative unions from the four regions.
The endorsement of the regional representatives ahead of the Super 5s is also tied with one of PNGRFU’s aims in establishing its regional offices, to develop and ultimately sustain High Performance Units in the regions.
Acting PNGRFU administrator Billy Rapilla told The National yesterday that geography and economic factors were the basis for the centering of development plans on individual centres, and that this step was very important.
“The appointed committees will encourage and establish dialogue and input from the unions in the regions, through the assistance of PNGRFU. “This direction will make sure all stakeholders are involved as well,” Rapilla said.
He called on all provincial union representatives to get selection processes underway, through their regional representatives.
The deadline for final selections and complete team submissions to the PNGRFU is March 12.
The formal announcement and launch of Coke’s commitment to Super 5s will be made today.