By HENRY MORABANG
THE inclusion or expansion of the franchise teams in 2010 bemobile Cup challenge will be discussed during the first PNG National Rugby League board meeting in Port Moresby next Saturday.
Teams who have shown their intentions for this year’s semi-professional challenge are the Hela Wigman (Tari), Porgera Nuggets (Enga) Gulf Siapea (Kerema), Simbu Warriors (Simbu), Rigo Roosters and Waghi Tumbe (Western Highlands).
Warriors have already made a bold move following a good backing from the businesses and local politicians, including Simbu Governor Fr John Garia. The Warriors were kicked out of the competition for incurring K60,000 debt with PNG National Rugby League (PNGRFL).
According to reports from Simbu, Fr Garia had committed K200,000 of which K100,000 will go towards the Warriors Rugby League board while the balance will go to upgrading Simbu’s premier oval, Dickson Rugby League ground.
The chairman of the PNGNRL Board which oversees the bemobile Cup competition, Don Fox said in an email to this paper last Friday that he would be in a better position to answer any questions on the bemobile Cup challenge after next Saturday meeting.
“At present, I am in discussion with Simbu Warriors. But nothing concrete has been established as yet.
“I have not spoken to the intending franchises yet,” he said.
It is understood that all participating teams last year will nominate again for this year.
They are reigning champions NGIP Agmark Guria (Rabaul), runners-up Toyota Mioks (Enga), Bintangor Lahanis (Goroka) Masta Mak Rangers (Port Moresby), SBS Muruks (Mendi), NCD-Civpac Vipers (Port Moresby), ACTL Lae Bombers (Lae) and Bintangor Eagles (Mt Hagen).