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LITTLE Channelle Vele’s eyes lit up with joy and excitement when she greeted Brisbane Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford at Jackson Airport yesterday.
The three-year-old had joined the traditional dance group from her Vabukori village in the National Capital District to welcome the Brisbane Broncos team who are here to play a friendly match against the rugby league team SP Hunters.
The Broncos, who play in the National Rugby League competition, are closely followed by local rugby league fans.
It is the Brisbane Broncos’ first trip to Papua New Guinea. Many local rugby league fans closely follow the team in the annual National Rugby League competition in Australia.
Channelle joined the dancers holding a small lakatoi (traditional artefact) in one hand. Aunt Dianne and members of the Vabukori village troupe had been engaged to welcome the Broncos when they arrived after noon at Jackson Airport.
Grandfather Ephata Samuel said Chanelle, who will get a second chance to meet the Broncos today when they visit her village, had been part of the dance group for the Rugby League World Cup matches in Port Moresby last year.
Samuel said she had been in a constant state of readiness for the Broncos’ arrival. His granddaughter loves the game despite her young age.
Her favourite team is, of course, the PNG Hunters, who she will be cheering for at the National Football Stadium tomorrow with her grandpa.

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