The push for a National Rugby League spot for Papua New Guinea by 2012 has received another boost.
PNG Prime Minister Michael ‘The Chief’ Somare has contributed 500,000 kina ($290,000) to assist his country’s bid to have a team in the NRL within three years.
Rugby league has long been PNG's national sport. Indeed, it is the only country across the globe to adopt the code as its national game.
Two league heavyweights are backing the PNG bid. Gold Coast Titans’ chairman Paul Broughton and league great and Queensland coach Mal Meninga are supporting the initiative.
PNG Deputy Prime Minister Puka Temu says his administration has approached private enterprise to help achieve the necessary criteria for entry into the competition.
“Imagine a PNG team in the NRL. Imagine the opportunities and imagine the strengthening of the PNG-Australia relationship,” he enthused. “To have our very own NRL team would unite the whole country.”