THIS season’s NRL premiership hopefuls, the Gold Coast Titans are willing to assist with the development of junior rugby league in PNG.
Titans chairman Paul Broughton and wife, PNG NRL Bid Team general manager Bev Broughton revealed this in an interview with The National.
“The Titans could work closely with the PNGRFL realise their junior development programme as part of the bidding process to better equip future PNG players who would eventually play for the PNG team in the NRL,” Mrs Broughton said.
The couple have started a series of discussions with PNGRFL chairman Albert Veratau and Minister assisting the Prime Minister Philemon Embel this week, deliberating on the golden offer presented to PNGRFL’s junior development programme by the NRL club and PNG NRL Bid Team.
According to Mrs Broughton, the partnership that would be cemented between PNGRFL junior development and Gold Coast Titans would see the NRL clubs junior development programmes incorporated into the PNG junior development programmes.
If discussions between the two parties go well, it could lead to the Titans and PNGRFL signing a memorandum of understanding for the development of junior rugby league in the country.The spin off benefits of the programme would see PNG Junior League having a sister relationship with the Gold Coast Titans junior league.
The head of the Titans junior league programme Peter McGrath has supported the suggestion put forward by Bev and Paul Broughton, while Veratau and PNGRFL Junior League development chairman Iffysoe Segeyaro and the PNG Government are expected to endorse the agreement.
The agreement and the bond that will be establish under the MoU will see two players from the junior league competition in PNG, awarded scholarships by the Titans at the end of every season to spend one month at Palm Beach Rugby League Academy on the Gold Coast.
PNGRFL junior competitions could also secure financial and material support for the junior league in PNG.
Other developmental aspects the Titans envisage being involved in includes coaching programmes and scholarships for the PNG juniors to play in the local junior competition on the Gold Coast.