War over home of Huli Wigmen

Main Stories, Sports

The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FOR the Hela Huli Wigmen to choose Port Moresby as their home ground has not gone down well with an official, who claims to have initiated the move for the franchise to participate in the inter-city rugby league challenge.
John Kevin said in a statement yesterday that it was his idea to bring the Huli Wigmen to participate in the semi-professional competition.
However, he was dissatisfied after learning the franchise club would be based in Port Moresby, with feeder club Defence Rugby League club.
“The idea of having a team from the resource-rich Hela region was to showcase the rural talents and scout players from  existing leagues in the province.
“There were also talents from existing Southern Highlands rugby league clubs participating in the other centres, especially in Mount Hagen which should be the home ground for the Wigmen as initially planned while work is carried out on their new homeground back in Tari.
Kevin said he was prepared to take legal action because he was not advised of the move.
However, he thanked the PNGNRL board for allowing the Wigmen to participate in this year’s Digicel Cup challenge after lobbying for the last five years.
“We have come a long way to bring the Wigmen to where it is and I salute those involved in making it possible. 
“I am appealing that the interim board be still in place and that the homeground should not be in Port Moresby,” Kevin said.
“I started this initiative in 2005 and where were they when I was struggling to bring the Wigmen up?” Kevin asked.
Attempts to get comments from Luke Goodwin, who presented the Wigmen’s successful bid, failed.
However, it is believed Goodwin was not able to make any comments until he had  talks with various persons concerned before making a public statement.
The first submission for the Wigmen was done in 2005 by Kevin when Sir Bob Sinclair was the PNGNRL chairman.
At that time, the board had secured a good sponsorship deal with the Island Mobile Hire Cars worth more than K240,000.