Former Australian Kangaroo winger Matt King was overwhelmed with the great passion showed by rugby league fans at Sogeri, Central Province yesterday.
The retired former NRL star for the Melbourne Storm and the New South Wales Blues, is well known player for his huge afro type hair.
King, who is in Port Moresby as the Young Guns Development Ambassador (YGDA) for the South Sydney Rabbitohs junior development program, was at the Iarowari Secondary School Oval with NRL coach Michael Muguire and a team of junior players from the program. The juniors played a commemorative match with the Fuxxy Wuzzy Young Stars from the Koiari junior rugby league, to mark Kokoda Day, which falls on November 3.
"I have been to PNG before but it was for a short trip, having walked the track in the last two days, I was surprised by the passion of the game and the fans as well," he said.
"We walked the track and folks were coming out of the jungle just to say hello to me. The atmosphere of the game here is surreal," he lamented.
"Having walked the track with the South Sydney Junior Rabbitohs under the Young Guns Development Academy, I was impressed by the generosity of the villagers living along the track," he said.
He said the walk amongst the graves of the fallen soldiers gave him a better insight on the fight the soldiers went through during World War Two endured to see PNG and Australia be free.
When asked on his role as Ambassador for the YGDA, he said he has been with the Academy for a year and his role is to mentor the youngsters.
"Whether through a training session or having a meal, I have been a part of the Young Guns as Ambassador for a year now and travelling with the boys to PNG was awesome," he added.
King was impressed with the talent on show by the Fuzzy Wuzzy Young Stars, and added that he has now seen and agrees that rugby league is huge in PNG.
"The support and passion shown by the supporters and the children is amazing," he added.
"Extra coaching clinics and training sessions on the game would really improve game at the junior level," he said.
Rugby League News by Category
Bringing all the latest rugby league news in PNG. If you want to contribute to this site with articles relating to sports please contact us here
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