SOUTH Sydney are confident that Papua New Guinea Kumuls fullback Alex Johnston will be back in action for the National Rugby League club before the September finals.
The 26-year-old is part of national coach Michael Marum’s plans for the Rugby League World Cup should it take place in October.
But the recent withdrawal of the world’s top-two sides, Australia and New Zealand, from the showpiece event has prompted questions on whether the spectacle will go ahead as scheduled.
And while competing in the World Cup is a goal for many players, Rabbitohs chief executive Blake Solly told The National that Johnston’s immediate focus was to win his second premiership with the Bunnies.
KUMUL PETROLEUM ANNOUNCES NAMING RIGHTS SPONSORSHIP FOR NATIONAL SCHOOLS CONFEDERATION AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The National Schools Rugby League (NSRL) received a huge boost today, when PNG’s National Oil & Gas Company (NOC) Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Kumul Petroleum) announced a sponsorship of K6 million for the next three (3) years.
Wapu Sonk, Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum said at the signing of the agreement that the NOC now becomes the Naming Rights sponsors of the National Schools Rugby League championships.
“Kumul Petroleum is proud to invest towards the development of juniors – both boys and girls – at the school level,” Mr Sonk said. “Every child has a dream and aspirations in their teen years and we want to support those young boys and girls who choose to play rugby league achieve that.”
OIL Search has reaffirmed its support for the Papua New Guinea Orchids which will help boost the national women’s team for this year’s Rugby League World Cup campaign in England.
Oil Search country manager Leon Buskins said their commitment to the Orchids comprised the 2020 and 2021 sponsorship which amounted to K1.4 million.
He said it was a commitment to rugby league especially for women and girls as well as helping the Orchids improve their world ranking.
“We were not able to sponsor (the Orchids) last year because of Covid-19 challenges and the number of international fixtures,” Buskins said.
“We are committed to roll over last year’s sponsorship to this year.
“We started the inaugural sponsorship of the Orchids in 2017 as we believe the country’s national sport of rugby league should be the domain of men and women.”
PAPUA New Guinea Kumul Dan Russell missed out on a National Rugby League (NRL) contract after he completed a six-week train-and-trial stint with the Melbourne Storm in the pre-season.
But before his side’s Queensland Intrust Super Cup (ISC) round-six clash with the SP Hunters, the Brisbane Tigers centre told The National that he was hopeful of securing another first-grade opportunity.
Russell said he had sustained a knee injury in the final two weeks of his Melbourne stint.
PAPUA New Guinea international Elsie Albert says she is eyeing a strong campaign with the St George Illawara Dragons in the upcoming National Rugby League Women’s season in Australia.
The PNG Orchids captain told The National last week that she would not be joining the Souths Logan Magpies in the Queensland Rugby League’s BHP Premiership.
However, she said she would do her own training while awaiting a call-up from the Saints.
BRISBANE will go searching for a top-flight outside back after Melbourne trumped their last-ditch bid, as well as the Titans’ late offer, to sign Papua New Guinea-born winger Xavier Coates on a two-year deal.
Conjecture over his future beyond this season has finally been put to bed with the Storm announcing his signing, on a deal understood to be worth around A$500,000 (K1.4 million) annually, until the end of 2023.
Brisbane had set aside a similar A$500,000 (K1.3 million) figure for Coates, and will now enter the player market to bolster their backline stocks.
NRL.com understands the Broncos have expressed interest in Storm utility Nicho Hynes among several rival clubs, with the utility back impressing at fullback in recent weeks with Ryan Papenhuyzen out injured.
WEST Brisbane Panther Gemma Schnaubelt will be out of action for eight weeks after she suffered an ankle sprain in their 16-32 BHP Premiership loss to the Central Queensland Capras in round one a fortnight ago.
The Papua New Guinea Orchids fullback, who is from New Ireland and Central, told The National yesterday that she was disappointed to have suffered such injury early in the season.
“It was not the way I wanted to start the season,” the 23-year-old said.
“It is a syndesmosis injury (a disruption of the distal attachment of the tibia and fibula) which is the high ankle.
“So I will be out for six to eight weeks.”
Tsaka hails PNG LNG for renewing sponsorship for the next three years
THE Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, operated by ExxonMobil PNG, yesterday announced the renewal of its sponsorship for the Kumuls and their domestic programmes with an allocation of K5.4 million over the next three years.
ExxonMobil PNG executive director, production, Keith Killian said the PNG LNG project, which had been backing the Kumuls since the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, was proud to continue its support of the national men’s team.
He said they were happy to support the Kumuls for this year’s World Cup in England as well as upcoming test matches and programmes.“
“The Papua New Guinea Rugby League family are deeply saddened by the loss of our nation’s Founding Father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare. We grieve with the country during this time, as we have lost an Icon, a Nation Builder, role model and leader, whose passion and love for his country, drove him to strive for independence and birth a nation.
We pay homage to Sir Michael’s life of unparalleled public service to his people and country and share our sincere gratitude for his immense contributions to our nationhood and our future. Our united country of a thousand tribes will forever be his legacy.
Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare on many occasions, graced us with his presence to inspire, celebrate and share memorable moments with our national teams. These are sacred occasions which we will hold dear and treasure. Our national teams; the PNG LNG Kumuls, the Oil Search PNG Orchids and the SP PNG Hunters will continue to draw inspiration from his legacy as they adorn the PNG colours with the same aspirations.
On behalf of the Board, Management, Staff and our entire rugby league family, we pass our condolences to his wife Lady Veronica, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the extended family. We share your grief and send our prayers and thoughts during this time.
Thank you Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, may your soul rest in eternal peace.”
PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka today announced the confirmation of Stanley Hondina as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL).
Hondina has been acting in the position following the resignation of former CEO Reatau Rau last October.
“Stanley (Hondina) has performed remarkably well for the past three (3) months while acting in the position,” Tsaka said. “The PNGRFL Board had no hesitation in confirming this appointment.”
The Chairman said Stanley is no stranger to the game. “He has played the game at all levels and had a great coaching career ahead of him but chose to take the path to be an administrator.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36