MRDC will appear on the home and away team jersey and selected gear in its debut season in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup this year.
PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka made the announcement yesterday, also calling on other PNG businesses to take out the last remaining major sponsorship package for the SP Brewery-sponsored team.
Tsaka said the response following PNG’s entry into the competition has been fantastic.
When thanking MRDC for the sponsorship, he said that they realised that the Hunters would flying PNG flag internationally “and are giving our youth and players a pathway and something to aspire to”
“We really appreciate the response from both the public and business community to date,” he said.
“It’s a mammoth task and extremely costly to participate in the competition and without corporate sponsorship we could not deliver the programme.”
He heaped praise on PNGRFL CEO Brad Tassell and his team who are “working extremely hard to provide a highly professional self-sufficient programme that PNG can be very proud of.”
However, crowd support at events, games and corporate sponsorship will ensure the long-term viability of the programme, he said.
Tsaka they were reaping the rewards of the programme with Wellington Albert securing a two-year contract with Penrith Panthers and another attracting interest from other NRL clubs.
He is optimistic that more interest on PNG players would be generated over the next 12 to 18 months.
“I went out to the training camp at Bomana last week and it is extraordinary how the programme has been set-up and is managed. It is highly professional and based on a full time NRL programme.”
He said there was a long way to go “but we have the right people in place and I’m extremely proud of the staff and the players and their preparations at this stage”.
“It’s going to be a tough season and we have had huge hurdles to overcome.”