Date: 27/2/14

The PNGRFL has today released the organisation’s Rugby League calendar for 2014.

The calendar was developed in consultation with the RLIF, Digicel Cup, SP PNG Hunters & Team Kumul and is the first time in recent memory that a coordinated program had been presented to the nation said Chairman Sandis Tsaka;

“There has been a lot of planning and thought that has gone into the calendar. We have also only just ratified and approved all budgets for the PNGRFL, Team Kumul and the SP Hunters recently, which fall directly under the PNGRFL Board control. Again this shows a coordinated approach to developing the game and we have very strict management and financial protocols surrounding all of our programs, which are delivered under the PNGRFL, particularly the elite Team Kumul and SP PNG Hunters programs. The calendar now allows for all our leagues across the nation to plan towards Zone and National Championships, International matches and accreditation courses which are being delivered this year.”

The International program will feature 3 matches this year; a resident’s international match on Sunday 4th May, along with the annual PM13 challenge followed by another off-­‐season international match. The PM13 challenge has been locked in for Sunday October 12th a week after the NRL grand Final, while another match a week later against one of the countries competing in the 4 nations tournament has also been scheduled said Tsaka;

“Through our Team Kumul Coach Mal Meninga we have approached the RLIF about scheduling a match against either England, New Zealand or Fiji/Samoa a week after the PM13 match against Australia. We need more international rugby league and the program this year gives our resident players participating in the Digicel cup competition an opportunity to impress ahead of the end of season tests. We will be expecting to field a full strength international team for these two matches in October. The PM13 match will also be a ‘Gala Weekend’ where our elite schoolboys will play against a visiting Australian Junior team. A side selected from the National Championships has also been proposed to take on a Digicel All-­‐stars team as curtain raisers to the PM13 Kumuls vs.
Australia. It really is a mouth watering program of top level rugby league.”

Other key dates include:

1. Team Kumul Development officer Accreditation & Orientation Week – March 13th to 18th
2. Digicel Cup Coaches & Referees Accreditation course – March 14th to 17th
3. PNGRFL National Leagues Coaching and referees accreditation courses – April to May & July – August.
4. Commonwealth Games U19 Tournament in Glasgow – June 24th to 29th
5. U18 Junior Kumuls International Tour – July 2nd to July 15th
6. National Schoolboys, Senior & Women’s National Championships – September 12th to 15th
It s a comprehensive program said Tsaka with a focus on developing our young talented players through to the next World Cup in 2017;

“It’s a cohesive, comprehensive program. Not only are we providing a development pathway to the next World Cup in 2017, we are also providing proper accreditation programs to our Coaches and Referees to ensure the standard of coaching and refereeing in PNG is lifted substantially from the grassroots through to the elite. The PNGRFL is in total control of ALL programs under its leadership and are delivering these programs over the next four years to not only make us more competitive at the next world cup but also lift the professionalism and standard of how the game is managed and delivered across the nation. We now have a clear pathway from the NRL Grassroots program, through to schoolboys, regional leagues, Digciel Cup, Intrust Super Cup and the Team Kumul International program.”

PNG International Rugby League Calendar

– PNG Kumul Resident International Match May 4th 2014
– Commonwealth Games U19 Nines Competition, June 24th – 29th 2014 Glasgow, Scotland
– U18 Junior Kumuls International Tour July 2nd – July 15th 2014 Brisbane
– U16 Junior Kumuls vs. NSW U16 National Championships Select Side October 12th 2014, Kokopo
– Vs. Digicel All-­‐Stars October 12th 2014 Kokopo
– PNG Kumuls vs. Australia PM 13 Test Match October 12th 2014 Kokopo
– PNG Kumuls International Test Match October 19th 2014 (Team and Venue to be announced)