PNG have earned their opportunity to be the next expansion club for the NRL
Led by captain Ase Boas and coached by Michael Marum, the Papua New Guinea Hunters claimed their historic first premiership after defeating the Falcons 12-10 in the 2017 Queensland Intrust Super Cup Grand Final.
PNG’s passion for Rugby League is unrivalled. Their toughness and physicality in the way their team plays, ensures that win or lose, they give it their best and the opposition will be in for a fight.
PNG’s rugby league fan base pride themselves on their encyclopaedic knowledge of rugby league and its superstars. PNG loves the game, loves their team and shows it by showing up to each game and cheering their team on.
Desire and determination has always been within the PNG players, but a lack of pathways to the NRL means that few Kumuls have been getting an opportunity to play first grade.
The addition and success of the Papua New Guinea Hunters to the Queensland Cup has proved that PNG has more than enough talent to have their own team in the NRL. Being this year’s minor premiers, with the right support and leadership put in place, the PNG Hunters would be a positive asset to the NRL and help with the development of international rugby league.
The NRL need to develop a strategy to add the Hunters into the competition within the next 5 years. Develop grassroot systems in PNG and assist them so they can continue to develop their talent. With the Hunters going as strong and successful as they are and the Kumuls hosting three World Cup games in Port Moresby this year, 2017 has been a huge year for rugby league in PNG.